1. Small Town Heroes : Hurray for the Riff Raff, from Small Town Heroes *
2. Buckets of Rain : John Renbourne & Wizz Jones, from Joint Control
3. Beyond the Horizon : Bob Dylan, from Modern Times
4. Four or Five Times : Jimmie Noone, from Clarinet Frequency
5. Saturday Jump : Humphrey Lyttelton Band, from The Parlophones 1949-1959 Vol. 4 **
6. Lil’ Darlin’ : Georgie Fame & the Harry South Big Band, from Sound Venture ***
7. In a Sentimental Mood : Robert Wyatt, from For the Ghosts Within
8. What Can I Say? : Boz Scaggs, from Silk Degrees
9. Monkey Man : The Maytals, from Young, Gifted & Black
10. Short Wet Summer : Rob McMinn, from Avignon****
* The lead singer and leading light in Hurrah for the Riff Raff, is Alynda Segarra, who was born in the Bronx of Puerto Rican heritage and whose mother, Ninfa Segarra, is a former Deputy Mayor of New York City. The band’s most recent album, The Navigator, was released in 2017 and there is a quite superb video, directed by Kristian Mercado Figueroa and photographed by Rudolph Costin, featuring one of the tracks, Pa’lante.
**This was recorded in December, 1958, along with The Bear Steps Out, only the second session by the version of the Lyttelton Band that regularly featured three saxophones in the line up for the first time – Tony Coe on alto, Jimmy Skidmore on tenor and Joe Temperley on bartitone – giving the ensemble a little-big-band sound that confirmed, for good, its move from traditional to mainstream jazz and the style of such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Buck Clayton. As such, I saw and heard them at the 100 Club in Oxford Street many times.
***By 1966 Georgie Fame had enough clout, I guess, to talk the powers-that-be at EMI into letting him live out one of his fantasies and make an album with a big band, a band that would sound as close to that of Count Basie as possible. [And he did get to sing with the actual Basie band just a year later. Lil’ Darlin’, which Georgie knew from the Lambert, Hendricks & Ross album, Sing a Song of Basie, was first up at the first session and as he said, “I was terrified because it was such a challenge. I had to produce these long, clear, straight notes … It was the first track we did, so I do sound very nervous. It’s a hard song to sing if you’re not confident. I get a bit embarrassed when I listen to it now, but I was trying.” Sounds pretty good to me.
****Written by Rob McMinn, who also plays guitar on the track, plus everything else that’s going, this is another of Rob’s hypnotic songs of barely requited love.