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Thread: FEATURED CD : Ghost Train Orchestra : Hot Town

  1. #1
    Moderator Duncan Glenday's Avatar
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    FEATURED CD : Ghost Train Orchestra : Hot Town

    Credit for this featured CD : Hobo Chang Ba


    Based on a CD received from the collection bequeathed to Progressive Ears by the late Chris Buckley (Winkersnuff)


    Hobo Chang Ba's comments:


    "Ghost Train Orchestra is a group put together by Brain Carpenter to play obscure/lost music from 1920s Chicago and Harlem. This old timey jazz is gussied up just slightly to a more modern world, but it is most definitely a relic of its time. The instrumentation definitely plays a roll, with tuba, banjo, clarinet, and violin dating the music most obviously. No instrument or player is particularly dominate, as everything (but drums & bass) get chances to solo, but Carpenter’s trumpet is probably the most utilized in the overall sound direction. That said, all ten musicians do blend together to create a pleasant big band jazz sound. The best moments are the upbeat fast paced numbers, like Mo’Lasses, Down Yonder, and Skag-a-Lag. These provide a jaunty exuberance that delivers an atmosphere of general merriment. The slower and/or more deliberate songs feel like a bit of a drag on the underground speakeasy dance party vibe this album is best at portraying. There is a guest vocalist on two of the tracks, and while this type of music does lend itself to a vocal performance, this reviewer finds it a bit of an intrusion. All the songs are also quite brisk and don’t venture out into territories of overindulgence, overt musicality, or angular prickliness, as is the tradition of the time from which these songs originate.

    Overall, this album of long forgotten old timey jazz really isn’t great, but it is at times fun. The songs don’t overstay their welcome, would be fine to dance to, and won’t get your thrown out of a party if you broadcasted them over the sound system. Prog and/or rock fans need not apply, as this is strictly for jazz heads, particularly those that like safe, cheerful, big band sounds of old."
    Regards,

    Duncan

  2. #2
    Love Ghost Train Orchestra (and pretty much everything Brian Carpenter is involved in), but the Book of Rhapsodies releases which feature 30s "chamber jazz" are more my speed than these 1920s Chicago/Harlem covers. Still a fun listen for anyone interested in the history of jazz, however.

  3. #3
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    Great review HCB! Interesting, seems like Chris enjoyed a lot of the old timey type stuff done up by modern musicians. One of my discs that I got from him was a band called Combustible Edison and...while not a big band like GTO, your words could have fit that one too.

    ...and I came to the same conclusion as you too...not very essential. And I'm not even sure jazz heads would like it as it had to much of a contemporary sheen to it. Kind of "yacht jazz" to me.

    best
    Michael
    If it ain't acousmatique-It's crap

  4. #4
    Interesting... Never heard of this one. This isn't really a period of jazz that I particularly enjoy, but it's important nevertheless. Thanks for the review.

  5. #5
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    If any of you enjoy New Orleans style Dixieland Jazz, go to YouTube and search the band Tuba Skinny. You can thank me later.
    15 Cuban minutes
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    Life's a test, just do your best
    Like a three-legged dog

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  6. #6
    Member adap2it's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    If any of you enjoy New Orleans style Dixieland Jazz, go to YouTube and search the band Tuba Skinny. You can thank me later.
    Coincidentally, I sent Chris Buckley UT links for Tuba Skinny...
    Dave Sr.

    I prefer Nature to Human Nature

  7. #7
    It might have been up to my dad's alley, who considered all jazz made after 1935 not as jazz.

  8. #8
    Subterranean Tapir Hobo Chang Ba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpt3 View Post
    Love Ghost Train Orchestra (and pretty much everything Brian Carpenter is involved in), but the Book of Rhapsodies releases which feature 30s "chamber jazz" are more my speed than these 1920s Chicago/Harlem covers. Still a fun listen for anyone interested in the history of jazz, however.
    I did mean to go back and listen to at least one of those, as chamber jazz sounds more interesting to me, but so much to listen to, so little time.
    My favorite fortune cookie read: "The only way to be successful on the internet is the keep the assholes preventing valuable discussion and eliminate the discussion itself."

    Never let good music get in the way of making a profit.

  9. #9
    Subterranean Tapir Hobo Chang Ba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neuroticdog View Post
    Great review HCB! Interesting, seems like Chris enjoyed a lot of the old timey type stuff done up by modern musicians. One of my discs that I got from him was a band called Combustible Edison and...while not a big band like GTO, your words could have fit that one too.

    ...and I came to the same conclusion as you too...not very essential. And I'm not even sure jazz heads would like it as it had to much of a contemporary sheen to it. Kind of "yacht jazz" to me.

    best
    Michael
    Many thanks! And he did. I definitely remember seeing several of that variety listed when people posted what they received in the gift to you thread. And that's a fair point. It does seem to have a very specific function that would limit its mass appeal to the jazzers...who I guess are at times a bit close minded.
    My favorite fortune cookie read: "The only way to be successful on the internet is the keep the assholes preventing valuable discussion and eliminate the discussion itself."

    Never let good music get in the way of making a profit.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Hobo Chang Ba View Post
    I did mean to go back and listen to at least one of those, as chamber jazz sounds more interesting to me, but so much to listen to, so little time.
    That material is definitely of more interest to prog fans. I mean... Raymond Scott was covered by Rush, so that gives him prog cred, right?

  11. #11
    Subterranean Tapir Hobo Chang Ba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpt3 View Post
    That material is definitely of more interest to prog fans. I mean... Raymond Scott was covered by Rush, so that gives him prog cred, right?
    I'm going to disagree.
    My favorite fortune cookie read: "The only way to be successful on the internet is the keep the assholes preventing valuable discussion and eliminate the discussion itself."

    Never let good music get in the way of making a profit.

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