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4.4 out of 5 stars97
4.4 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 31 January 2002
I found this CD in Kingston, Ontario back in December and bought it solely for "Horse to the Water". I had no idea who Jools was (I was a fan of Squeeze during the years when he had left the band), and I certainly hadn't heard of Sam Brown or Suggs. What a treasure chest of great songs and performances!
Because of George's passing and the demand for "Horse..." to be released in this country, this CD finally came out here in early January, instead of the original March release date. We've been missing something over here! "Valentine Moon" by Sam Brown (and Jools) is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard, the Stereophonics' "Revolution" is great, and Suggs' "Oranges and Lemons Again" is infectious. What talented artists!
The cuts featuring more familiar acts like Sting and Dr. John are excellent, as one would expect. Like any great CD containing cuts by various artists, this one makes you want to buy lots more. (I've already bought four more Jools CD's from, and I plan to buy "Stop" by Sam Brown among many others.) Jools' piano skills are amazing, and the big band sound adds a new dimension to all these great tracks. I'll recommend it over here to anyone who'll listen!
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`Small World, Big Band' is a collection of tracks from Jools Holland and some well known friends.

The selection of tracks here are in his typical boogie woogie, blues or soul style and the friends he duets with are varied and eclectic. From Sting to George Harrison, Mica Paris and David Gilmour to Eric Clapton, each person he duets with adds their own unique feel to the song they feature on.

Personal favourites have to be `Nobody But You' with Ruby Turner with it's soul blues feel and `Mademoiselle Will Decide' with Mark Knopfler, but to be honest all the songs are good and sit very comfortably alongside one another.

If you like Jools' music then this should be right up your street and if you like blues in general then there should plenty here for you to enjoy. Give it a try, you shouldn't be disappointed.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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on 9 May 2002
Each track recorded with polish and evident joy. Jools' piano is silky and mesmerising, and the peers he brings together are the upper echelon of talent and enthusiasm.Timeless.
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on 20 August 2002
Just browsing and listening to newly released compilation albums in a store and bought this album on the basis of hearing the first track 7th Son with Sting. I had never before heard of Jools Holland as I live in Aust, but was pleasantly surprised at how familiar some songs sounded to me although I had never heard them before. Needless to say it has become my absolute favourite album.
Paul Weller and Style Council were a great band so a bit of an influence for me to buy, had never heard of Suggs but "oranges and lemons" is such a fun song - reminds me of a mix of Ian Dury/Madness. Also "Valentine Moon" is such a simply beautiful tune. I could not pin one song as my favourite as they all are so good, although "All that you are" for me resonates the emotions I feel for my mother and tugs at my heart every time I hear it.

I strongly recommend anyone to buy this wonderful album - you will not be disappointed. It's diversity of sounds from big band, jazz, rock, blues and boogie woogie is sure to please all who listen. Excellent value for money.
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on 1 January 2002
A great CD, for both blues/boogie enthusiast or occasoinal listener. A great line up of artists performing songs both newly composed and covered along with the very talented Jools Holland and his Rythm and Blues Orchestra. The band are on top form and its nice for once to be able to actually hear the piano in a recording for once and Jools' piano playing gets the attention it deserves in this excellent compilation which is a pleasure to the listener and an inspiration to musicians, composers and learning pianists such as myself. If you are into good music then buy it!
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VINE VOICEon 14 December 2001
22 tracks, a truck load of star guests (including George Harrison's final recording before the posthumous releases start), some excellent boogie-woogie piano and crisp horns, all for a tenner. Nobody could claim they were short-changed!
That said, I wish Jools would display the full range of his talents (piano, not vocal!) He seems to choose material well within his capabilities. Promises much more than he actually delivers, somehow.
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on 30 June 2002
Although I have enjoyed watching Jools' Later programmes for the last few years, and think he is a great pianist and has a great band, this is my first Jools album. Like many people, I suspect, I had to have it because of the George Harrison track.
Here Jools brings together elements of rock, blues, jazz, the "big band" sound, and his famous boogie woogie, as well as the various styles of his "friends". It's an eclectic mix; often it works, but with 22 tracks, it also often sounds a bit samey.
There are some fantastic tracks here. My favourites are those with Sting, George Harrison, Suggs, Marc Almond, John Cale, JK from Jamiroquai, Mark Knopfler, Ruby Turner/Dave Gilmour, Steve Winwood and Van Morrison. Also worth a mention is Revolution from the Stereophonics, which is about the best cover of a Beatles song I have heard - and I think better than the slow acoustic version the fab four recorded for the White Album. Lots of the rest I am often tempted to skip.
Valentine Moon is particularly disappointing. I have seen Sam Brown on Jools' shows and she has a fantastic voice but this track, with its slushy sentimental lyrics - and which does not seem to feature very much of Jools' big band either - simply does not do her justice!
Still, well worth buying for the really great tracks, and when you think about it, the average album only has about 12 tracks on it anyway, so if you like most or even all of this, then it is even better value.
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on 6 February 2007
Superb piano playing from Jools and some outstanding work from many of the greats of the music industry make this a real must-have for all fans of rhythm & blues. Stand out tracks include George Harrisons "Horse to the Water" (his last recording before his unfortunate passing), a typically nutty-boy performance from Suggs on "Oranges and Lemons Again" and (my particular favourite) some exquisite guitar riffs from Dave Gilmour on "I Put a Spell on You". Also look out for some real oddities that nonetheless work, such as Mark Knoppflers 50's rock and roll-style "Mademoiselle Will Decide" and Jamiroquais ska version of "I'm in the Mood for Love". Great stuff.
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on 4 January 2002
The previous reviews have captured most of my sentiments, but in addition I would add praise for the breadth of music that Jools and his Big band cover. The Country and Western waltz " Valentine Moon " with Band member Sam(antha)Brown ( Joe's daughter) is superbly arranged both brass and strings and demonstrates the abilities of all the band. The return of Sugg's to form with " Oranges and lemons" is massively cheeky and wonderful music to cook to.
The measure of a superb album ,I have found, is that you start off with one track as a favourite and before you know it and unconsciously you have another and the proccess continues.
Also on albums where there are loads of guest stars, it is a rare occasion where justice is done to their talent. This albums fulfils both criteria. Buy it!
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on 26 February 2002
Every song, every guest singer, every ivory key expertly caressed by the magic fingers of the man himself, just makes you feel good from start to finish. You can't really go wrong listening to Sting, Van Morrission even Suggs. Ruby Turners No Body But You, brings out such emotion that if you don't feel the hairs on the back of your neck standing on end, you need to get your hearing checked. An absolutely great CD for all fans of good music
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