Chris Barber - Elite Syncopations (1960)

In his notes on the back of the LP cover, Chris Barber wrote: "Ragtime is a musical idiom that was popular between 1890 and 1920 (having no connotation whatsoever with a bandleader named Alexander!). It had a very great influence on jazz development but has been sadly neglected in recent years.... We had the honour of visiting New Orleans to give a concert in 1959, and we were fortunate to find a collection of original Ragtime sheet music at Bill Russell’s little shop in the French Quarter, thus enabling us at last to prepare and record some authentic Ragtime-style jazz. All the numbers on this LP except Georgia Cakewalk and St. George's Rag come from this collection.... The descriptions of the tunes, the illustration and the panel underneath the title all taken from the original Stark Publishing Co. sheet music, as is the cover of Elite Syncopations".
Right from their outset in 1954 – and before that if you want to count the embryo bands that led to the formation of Ken Colyer's Jazzmen and that band's evolution into Chris Barber's Jazz Band – Chris and the band (but mainly Chris himself, I think) were innovators. Not only did they anticipate various trends but in many cases they set the trend by inventing it in the first place!
The first of the two best-known examples began with the band's skiffle group, the recording and release of Rock Island Line, the enormous influence of Lonnie Donegan, and the explosion of skiffle as both a commercial form of music and an amateur craze in the late-1950s. The second was the band's practice of inviting to Britain some of the most illustrious and influential names on the North American blues and gospel scenes: Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, and Muddy Waters with Otis Spann – all in the space of less than twelve months in 1957 and 1958. Several others followed, and together with the Barber Band they helped to foster the emergence of a vibrant British blues and rock scene.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, another mini-craze emerged in the pop music world: ragtime. This happened largely because of the use of the ragtime tune The Entertainer as the theme song in the Paul Newman/Robert Redford hit movie, The Sting. I think it's fair to say that few patrons and fans were aware that the song had not been written for the movie but had been around for about 70 years!

Graham Burbridge (drums)
Chris Barber (trombone)
Pat Halcox (trumpet)
Monty Sunshine (clarinet)
Dick Smith (bass)
Eddie Smith (banjo)

01. Swipsey Cakewalk (Joplin/Marshall) 3.39
02. Bohemia Rag (Lamb) 2.44
03. Elite Syncopations (Joplin) 4.19
04. Cole Smoak (St.John) 4.38
05. The Peach (Marshall) 4.15
06. St. George's Rag (Barber) 3.14
07. The Favourite (Joplin) 4.01
08. Reindeer Ragtime Two Step (Lamb) 4.22
09. The Entertainer (Joplin) 3.50
10. Georgia Cakewalk (Mills) 4.19
11. Thriller Rag (Aufderheide) 3.01
12. Whistlin' Rufus (Mills) 3.01
13. Tuxedo Rag (Traditional) 2.18
16. Bugle Call Rag (Myers/Pettis/Schoebel) 4.18

ARMU 2438
ARMU 2438 (zippyshare)