by Bert Thompson
NEW ORLEANS DELIGHT FEATURING BRIAN CARRICK AND DEREK
WINTERS: THE HOLSTEBRO SESSION (Music Mecca CD 5057-2). Playing time:
63 mins. 16 secs.
Take These Chains*; I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles; You Can’t Be True, Dear;
Lover*; When You and I Were Young, Maggie*; Old New Orleans*; Just Because†; If
You See My Saviour*; Jambalaya*; A Fool Such as I†. Recorded Jazzklub 93,
Hostelbro, Denmark, Oct. 26, 2007.
NEW ORLEANS DELIGHT FEATURING BRIAN CARRICK AND DEREK
WINTERS: THE FREDERICIA SESSION (Music Mecca CD 5058-2). Playing time:
66 mins. 48 secs.
When You and I Were Young, Maggie*; Lover*; You Can’t Be True, Dear; Burgundy
Street Blues*; The Old Spinning Wheel in the Parlor*; Tap Room Special; Just a
Closer Walk; You Are All I Want for Christmas*; Sobre Las Olas (Over the Waves);
Recorded Fredericia Jazzklub, Fredericia, Denmark, Oct. 27, 2007.
Personnel: Brian Carrick, tenor sax, clarinet, vocal*; Derek Winters, trumpet, vocal†;
Kjeld Brandt, clarinet; Bengt Hansson, trombone; Hans Pedersen, piano; Erling
Lindhardt, banjo, tenor guitar; Stefan Kärfve, string bass; Claus Lindhardt, drums.
As several people have said at various times, the New Orleans jazz style with its
collective improvisation resembles a musical conversation, the musicians “talking”
to each other through their instruments, none shouting down the other or engaging
in lengthy soliloquies. The performances in these two CD’s, captured while the
Danish/Swedish band New Orleans Delight was on a brief tour of Denmark in the
autumn of 2007, illustrate very well that concept. For a long time now, the band,
which seems to just get better and better, has been carrying on these tête-à-têtes,
ably assisted by the guests they have chosen to join them.
Such is the case here as Brian Carrick and Derek Winters, two well-known
instrumentalists from the U.K., perform with them. Derek Winters has been a
frequent guest on trumpet and has made several CD’s with the band over the years.
This is only the second time Brian Carrick has played with the band, the first being
a brief sit-in in Askersund, Sweden, but one would never know that as he fits in so
First off, as a glance at the tune lists shows, a few tunes are repeated on these two
CD’s, but since the renditions are quite different, there is no real redundancy. Also
apparent is that there are many familiar tunes, some that are not so familiar and one
or two that are “hiding” behind aliases: Tap Room Special is actually one strain of
Panama and You Are All I Want for Christmas is better known as Algiers Strut.
(Kid Thomas apparently “rechristened” the former tune). And Sobre Las Olas is, of
course, best known by its English title, Over the Waves, given here in parentheses.
It would require too much space to discuss each tune separately, so let me mention
just a few. The tune list contains some that are old favorites, some that are new—to
these ears, at least. Take These Chains starts one of the CD’s off with a bang as the
band and Carrick romp through the Hank Williams piece. Many country tunes
lend themselves to a New Orleans treatment, Jambalaya, also by Williams, being
another on this album. In a blindfold test one might also be forgiven for saying that
Lover (not that by Rogers and Hart in the 1932 movie Love Me Tonight) is another
country tune that has been adapted, but when the blindfold is removed one will see
that it is by Narvin Kimball! It, too, is a vocal vehicle for Carrick. In fact, no fewer
than 14 of these songs are sung by either Carrick or Winters on the two CD’s, the
great majority by Carrick. He “speaks” the vocal to Burgundy St. Blues à la
Monette Moore, and he manages to provide the lyrics, which I have never heard
before, for You’re All I Want for Christmas. For a stomping gospel number, I would
certainly recommend, by the “father” of gospel Rev. Thomas Dorsey, the seldom-
heard If You See My Saviour. Lastly, I was pleased to see Ken Colyer’s fine 12-bar
blues Goin’ Home included as the closer on one of the discs.
But to give a sense of what New Orleans Delight do with a tune to make it special,
consider I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles. It opens with the trombone playing the
melody over the rhythm section’s soft and sedate 3/4 waltz-tempo backing, followed
by the piano’s taking over from the trombone, with a bowed bass behind. One can
certainly envisage the dancers gliding formally to the music back in the early part of
last century. Following the piano, the trombone repeats the melody, joined by
clarinet playing counterpoint. The trombone then takes a two-bar break, and the
pair continue in 4/4 time, but not at a frantic tempo. Then the full ensemble takes
over. After that, the two clarinets explore the tune fully, succeeded by a muted
trombone solo chorus. The tune is then taken out by the ensemble. Such a head
arrangement itself lends so much variety and when that is coupled with the
outstanding musical abilities of the musicians, the experience is very gratifying for
the listener, as the audience’s applause at the conclusion affirms. And this is the
kind of careful treatment given each song.
As I just said, the musicians on these two CD’s are of the highest caliber. The
harmonies of the duets by Brandt on clarinet and Carrick on either clarinet or tenor
sax are a joy to hear. Winters supplies his usual commanding lead on trumpet, and
Hansson’s trombone playing is just what is needed, whether he is using a mute or
playing the horn open. As always the duo of Erling Lindhardt, banjo and tenor
guitar, and Stefan Kärfve, string bass, provide a sold bottom and rock-steady
tempos throughout. Hans Pedersen’s piano playing is superb, whether he is
providing a sensitive introduction to a song, laying down solid triplets for a blues
number, or block chording behind the front line, it is always just right. Finally,
Claus Lindhardt’s drumming, as usual, is spot on—witness his tasteful solos on Tap
Room Special and Sobre Las Olas, along with his backing on all of the other tunes.
In his liner notes, Marcel Joly gives his idea of a mini “history of New Orleans-style
jazz,” which seems to me generally quite convincing. Perhaps, as he says, the
musicians in Preservation Hall introduced the soloing that was the beginning of the
end of polyphonic ensemble playing, but that would pertain only to New Orleans.
As far back as the twenties New Orleans’ own Louis Armstrong had begun that
soloing process as we can hear in his Hot 5 and Hot 7 recordings, but admittedly
these records were not made in New Orleans. However, I think Marcel is right on
the money in showing that New Orleans Delight is firmly in the tradition. In fact,
they and a few other non-U.S. bands are perhaps the only ones keeping that New
Orleans-style traditional jazz alive today.
These two CD’s come highly recommended. They can be ordered directly from the
band: go to http://www.new-orleans-delight.dk/cd/Buy%20CD's.html or e-mail
email@example.com or write to Kjeld Brandt, Peder Hvitfeldts Stræde 13, 1. th,
1173 Copenhagen K., Denmark. They are also obtainable from the French mail
order source http://www.cdjazz.com and the British one Jazz ’n’ Blues Records at
http://www.jazznblues.co.uk and others that may carry Music Mecca label CD’s.