Having the legendary Georgie Fame sitting behind the Hammond organ, night after night, in a London club is wonderfully reminiscent of the time, more than thirty years ago, when he held held court at the Flamingo Club. Back then, in the early sixties, it wasnt just for a week or two at a stretch, but for months at a time. He was at the heart of the ongoing scene, where American servicemen, budding British rockers and Georgie himself mixed it up and, ultimately created a musical stew that went on to change the pop scene the world over. So this recording takes its place in the pantheon of great Georgie Fame moments.
Throughout the evening, Georgie drops little historical nuggets. For example, he dedicates the Ray Charles classic Tell Me How Do You Feel to rock pioneer Eddie Cochran in honor of the latters having introduced the music of Ray Charles to the British people during a 1960 tour. What Georgie doesnt mention, however, is that he was on that tour as well, and was among the many who mourned when Cochran died unexpectedly before its conclusion. That 1960 tour helped form and inform the musician that became Georgie Fame. There is also a dedication from Georgie of the song Zulu to Speedy Acquaye; what our host doesnt mention, however, is that Speedy was there during the original years at the Flamingo Club, sharing the music and acting as kind of spiritual guide to the young Georgie Fame as he searched out and separated the mysterious from the mundane.
So this record is full of spirits, spirits of great men who made the music, great moments when it was made and great places where the musicians held forth. Today, even the owner and namesake of the club where this album was recorded -- saxophonist Ronnie Scott -- is no longer with us. Yet Georgie Fames carries on with the good work, and is aware of his role in preserving and passing along the great jazz spirit.
To that end, he has enlisted the able assistance of some of his favorite people to make this passage possible. The front line of the band includes some of Britains finest players, trumpet man Guy Barker, tenor saxophonist Alan Skidmore, alto saxophonist Peter King and Anthony Kerr on vibes. In the rhythm section is his regular bassist (and dapper man about town) Geoff Gascoyne along with the Powell brothers, Tristan on guitar and James on drums. These two boys have grown up with Georgie Fames music and are helping him carry the torch into the next century.
It is our great pleasure and distinct honor here at Go Jazz to join hands with them all and fall in step.
~ Ben Sidran
This music was recorded in the exalted spiritual company of Jimmy Smith, Richard Groove Holmes, Jimmy McGriff, William Count Basie, Mose Allison, Clark Terry, Sonny Boy Williamson, Fats Domino, Eddie Cochran, Ray Charles, Percy Mayfield, John Coltrane, Paul Gonzalves, Edward Duke Ellington, John Lee Hooker, Nemoi Speedy Acquaye, Clifford Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Zawinul, Van Morrison, Same Cooke, Richard Tee, Lionel Hampton, Gene Ammons, King Pleasure, Betty Carter, Harry Sweets Edison, Benny Golson, Frank Foster, Dave Lambert, Jon Hendricks, Annie Ross, Stan Getz, Lars Gullin, Kenny Gordon, Uncle Tom Cobbley and all.
~ Georgie Fame