First a statement of their agenda, then Maryland, My Maryland.
Now the first of two “hotel” tracks – Irving Berlin’s Puttin’ on the Ritz.
There don’t seem to be any noteworthy tales about Kenny Ball. He started in dance bands, formed his jazz band, and pretty quickly they had a string of Top 40 hits. For my taste his best stuff was on his LPs. The band carried on successfully for decade after decade; deserved success, I’d say. They were technically accomplished and enjoyed their jazz. Though their pace could be relentlessly fast the audiences kept listening – or watching, since they were a fixture on the Morecambe and Wise shows for years. We slow it down with his version of the Noo Awlins standby, St James Infirmary.
And a second “hotel” track: Kid Ory’s Savoy Blues
We cool it down a second time with Fats’ Blue Turning Grey.
We leave with Kenny opening with a very decent impersonation of a Delta Blues singer, which then morphs into a Dixieland romp.
They’re dead now, Kenny Ball and Mr Acker Bilk, and most of their sidemen. Thanks for the music, chaps. It protected me from the appalling pop music that my classmates listened to, it led me back to the original jazzmen, and onto more modern styles of jazz too. Above all it was Good Time Music.