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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 4 November 1999
Jools Holland and his R&B Orchestra are a great live act - their ability to get any audience to their feet is well known.
The CD shows them in great form from the mid 90's, opening with just Jools and drummer Gilson Lavis on their own. Joined by the rest of the band from track two, they keep the pedal flat to the floor right to the end. They're unpretentious, they always look and sound as if they're having fun, and the musicianship is top notch.
Stand out tracks for me are Dr. Jazz and High Street - the latter being an instrumental at breakneck speed giving Jools, Drummer Gilson Lavis, Organist Christopher Holland, Double Bassist Dave Swift and Guitarist Mark Flanagan opportunities to show their considerable talents.
It's impossible to listen to this CD and keep your feet still ! Thoroughly recommended.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 November 2006
This is the best Jools Holland album you can buy. The first track is Bumble Boogie. This is the original Jools Holland R&Blues Orchestra, i.e. Jools and Gilson. In the early 90's Jools toured with just the two of them and the band grew from that nucleus. This track demonstrates Jools great boogie Piano playing and gets the album off to a flying start.

It only gets better from there. Other standout tracks are High Street and Dr Jazz. In all honesty there are no bad tracks and if you're interested in straightforward Rhythm & Blues with a touch of Rock 'n' Roll and a hint of Jazz then this is the album for you. Because its a live album there is a great atmosphere, and it gives Jools a chance to deliver a few typically pithy lines when introducing the songs or the musicians.
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on 3 November 1999
The "Live" album is probably the first Jools Holland album that anyone should buy. It really brings out the electric atmosphere of his live shows, and you could believe that every day is summer. There's a good variety of songs on this album, and although they have now been mostly replaced in the live act, they are priceless gems from Jools' repertoire.
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on 24 January 2006
This album was the first Jools Holland album I ever listened to, and having listened to all of the others, still the best. This sort of music is far better when heard live - it gives it more character, energy and spontaneity - and this CD does a great job of capturing a live performance on CD.
This CD comes from the days when Jools and his band didn't feel an urge to get big names to come along and help make their CDs (like the several Jools Holland and friends series)... ok, Jools hasn't got the best voice in the world, but start looking around and you'll notice that a lot of the great jazz artists had a mediocre voice which they could attach to fantastic music, and it didn't matter.
Stand out tracks include Dr Jazz (an old Squeeze song!), High Street and a cover of Ray Charles' 'I gotta woman' ... but to be honest, the whole CD could be considered a stand out track. Stick it on while you're doing the housework, you'll be finished in no time!
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Live albums never capture the excitement of being at a concert and having seen Jools and his little big band twice in the early nineties I can confirm that this is the case here but it is a wonderful document of his then live revue.

It kicks off with Jools solo on the piano with `Bumble Boogie' the highlight from not only his album `Solo Piano' but also from his original solo band the Millionaires, which is improved on here with Gilson Lavis joining him on the drums. Then the remainder of the band join him for `Bad Luck Blues' and Holland's own `Skin the Cat' uncollected anywhere else. Next up is a brilliant performance of Dinah Washington's `Mean Old Man's World' and the brilliant Holland showcase from Squeeze's `Frank', `Dr Jazz'. The pace then slows with `High street' the highlight of Jools' 1992 album. Brother Christopher takes over vocal duties for a cover of Todd Rundgren's `I Saw the Light' which seems strangely out of place here.

What would have once being side two opens with what Jools tells us is his first ever song, the fabulous `Should've Know Better' (from his 1978 EP) which he follows up with further highlights of his song writing with the then unrecorded `Able Mable', `Maidens Lament' and `Biggie Wiggie' from `World of his own' and then the Chris Difford collaboration `May be I Need Her'. Jools then gives us the Ray Charles Classic `I Gotta Woman' before bringing it all home with `Smoking Shuffle' and `Hop, Skip and Jump' his contribution to the Squeeze album `Cool for Cats'.

Not quite the performance I was at but one I enjoy time and time again.
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on 9 January 2009
I've seen Jools perform live with his band a couple of times and this CD is a really good reminder of his live concerts.

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on 28 March 2013
Only recently found Jools, inspite of his huge media profile. Really enjoying this accomplished live performance, even though it's probably recorded a few years back. Sadly, none of the family share this view, so it has to be played in the car alone - mind you, some of the tracks seem to make the car drive faster - dangerous stuff, but seriously good music all the same!
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on 31 July 2011
Jools Holland looks like a typical Dickens character.He comes on like a Victorian fairground barker on his Later shows.
He's not much of a singer but then some of his guests on the Friends series like Shane McGowan and Bob Geldof are below even non singers.
Still he mucks in with everybody.No egos no snobbery.
A mighty long way down the road from his first TC appearance when he was seen behind a cloud of cigar smoke for the Squeeze video Take Me I'm Yours.
Holland is also one of the few who got to play with Fats Domino in a TV film he made about New Orleans which started off with Sting as a busker in a tunnel on the Underground and was an early indication of how Holland would assemble big name casts around him.Like Ringo
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on 28 August 2009
....the recording quality leaves a lot to be desired. For that reason I can only give it 3 stars. Jools really needs to invest in audio engineers who know how to record big band without it sounding compressed and lacking dynamic range.
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on 24 July 2013
Just like being at a real live concert of jools holland & his rhythm & blues orchestra. The instruments come across very clearly. Well worth an excellent purchase, I'm glad I bought it.
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