Sometimes the band leader dominates the limelight. Trumpeters are particularly prone to it; so too soprano sax men and clarinetists. It’s hard for trombonists to do it unless they are of the calibre of Jack Teagarden, which Chris barber wasn’t. We start with his bassist Vic Pitt shining on the sentimental old vaudeville song When You Wore a Tulip.
Another way to give the bassist a run is to take on the old Bobcats number Big Noise From Winnetka. The Kenny Ball version has Vic Pitt (again) and the drummer Ron Bowden.
Now a second drummer: since I loathe drum solos we’ll have Acker’s drummer Ron McKay singing.
I love the muted trumpet of Pat Halcox on a Jelly Roll Morton number aka I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say. Roger Hill plays electric guitar.
Barber’s early clarinetist was Monty Sunshine: he played on the first recording to make the band famous. It’s Sidney Bechet’s Petite Fleur with Dick Bishop on acoustic guitar and Barber on string bass.
Here’s a different way to give the clarinetist a blow: Dave Jones plays the Alphonse Picou solo on High Society twice: once as a solo, than as a remarkable harum-scarum duet with Kenny Ball, before taking an original solo of his own.
Next Ball’s trombonist John Bennett plays Gershwin: The Man I Love.
And pianist Ron Weatherburn solos on Jelly’s Fingerbuster.
I’d dearly like to finish with a post of a plucked banjo solo. The one I have in mind is Paddy Lightfoot on Ellington’s Saturday Night Function but it’s been taken off youtube. So let’s return to vaudeville with Paddy singing the only recording that I’ve ever heard of Queen of Chesapeake Bay.