Small World Big Band Friends 3 - Jack O The Green
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Having picked up an OBE in the Queen's Birthday honours list, every Briton's favourite boogie pianist and TV music presenter Jools Holland is back to hanging out with the cream of the musical aristocracy on Jack O the Green, the third instalment in his Small World Big Band series. From the glowing vibrato of Buddy Guy's guitar on "She Suits Me to a Tee" to the valedictory reassurances of veteran jazzer Jimmy Scott's "I'll Be Seeing You", this is music that's low on both conceit and pretence and high on skills, thrills, chemistry and camaraderie.
While classics and standards abound--bar-room rock manoeuvres with old warhorses such as Ronnie Wood or Ringo Starr, soul with Smokey Robinson, life-affirming bluebeat with Prince Buster--Holland himself has either penned or copenned 12 of the 21 songs, among them personalised endowments for croaky weather-beaten bruisers such as Shane Macgowan and Steve Earle, fresher pop daisies such as the Sugababes or amiable English geezers such as Suggs (whose jolly Mayday-flavoured title track joins the dots between Madness, the Kinks, Jethro Tull and the Undertones). Connoisseurs may well salivate over the two tracks pairing Solomon Burke with Eric Clapton, but with the likes of the pretty, harpsichord-adorned collaboration with fiddler Eliza Carthy and the poignant reappearance of the late Kirsty MacColl (reworking a song she'd left unreleased since 1981), there really is something for everybody, possibly even Her Majesty. --Kevin Maidment
Top Customer Reviews
The music is so easy to listen to,get in to and enjoy and if you own the previous two albums in the series you'll find it so hard to choose a favourite between them.
For fan's of Jool's I asure you its a must buy and for others who purly love music,its a must buy.A MUST BUY!
Jools Holland is, for me, one of the best pianists around, and together with his rhythm 'n' blues band (who feature sometimes on his 'Later' shows) he is joined by famous musicians from around the world to boogie on down to classic and original numbers. Past guests include Sting, George Harrison, Tom Jones, Robert Plant, Van Morrison, Bono......the list goes on!!
This CD comes with the same array of stars: Suggs, Eric Clapton, Smokey Robinson, and even (yes, he's here!) Ringo Starr!! (who performs a cracking version of an old song even the Beatles covered in their early years).
The songs are trully brilliant, ranging from the toe-tapping to the swinging to the soft ballads. If you own the previous 2 'Friends' CDs, I don't need to tell you to buy this right now; if you're new to Jools, buy it and listen. I promise you won't be disappointed! Mr Holland, you've done it again!
My album of the year 2003.
Who else but Holland could inspire and persuade such diverse talent such as Buddy Guy, Nick Cave, Prince Buster, Sugababes and Eliza Carthy to record new tracks for inclusion on one record? The programming (order of performances) is also quite inspired; it flows effortlessly so that (with perhaps the exception of David Gray's interpretation of Randy Newman's "I Think It's Going To Rain Today" - is that typecasting or what?) there are no violent swings of mood and pace.
More than half the songs are Holland originals, demonstrating his strength in the big band/blues/boogie genre, not to mention the little folksy number for Carthy and a perfect piece of Motown pastiche for Michael Macdonald.
Inevitably there are a couple of flat spots (unusually Suggs is guilty of one of them) but all in all it sounds as though a rollicking good time was had by all in the making of this album. Released as it was in November last year it got rather swamped in the Christmas rush and deluge of young solo singers trying to sound like someone else. On this one CD you have twenty two old warhorses sounding very much like themselves and backed by one heck of a big band; it deserves a place in everybody's collection.
Holland is a published author and appears on television shows besides his own and contributes to radio shows. In 2004, he collaborated with Tom Jones on an album of traditional R&B music. Since 1992, he has hosted Later... with Jools Holland, a music-based show aired on BBC2, on which his annual show Hootenanny is based. He also regularly hosts the weekly programme Jools Holland on BBC Radio 2, which is a mix of live and recorded music and general chat and features studio guests, along with members of his orchestra.