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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke

Ronnie Scott

Double Event

Ronnie Scott’s Jazz House JHDE 208

Crotchet midprice 

This double CD album is a re-release of two Ronnie Scott albums, Never Pat a Burning Dog (1990) and When I Want Your Opinion, I’ll Give it to You (1963/5).

Disk One – Never Pat a Burning Dog

  1. Contemplation
  2. I’m glad There is You
  3. White Caps
  4. All the Things You Are
  5. This Love of Mine
  6. When Love is New.
  7. Little Sunflower

Ronnie Scott – Tenor Dick Pearce – Trumpet John Critchinson – Piano Ron Matthewson – Bass Martin Drew – Drums Mornington Lockett – Tenor replaces Pearce on Little Sunflower.

Disk Two – When I Want Your Opinion, I’ll Give it to You

  1. Ronnie’s Blues
  2. I’m Sick and Tired of Waking Up Tired & Sick
  3. What’s New?
  4. Easy Living
  5. Blues in B and A Flat
  6. Bye Bye Blackbird
  7. One Night At Ronnie’s

Ronnie Scott – Tenor Stan Tracey – Piano (except 4&5) Ernest Ranglin – Guitar (track 1) Malcolm Cecil – Bass (track 1&2) Chris Karan – Drums (track 1) Jackie Dougan – Drums (track 2,3&4) Rick Laird – Bass (tracks4 to6) Ronnie Stephenson – Drums (track5)

Most UK jazz lovers would like to have something from Ronnie Scott in their collection; he was very much a part of the jazz scene in the UK from the post war period until his death a few years ago. Ronnie did not like recording sessions and the collector therefore does not have a lot to choose from. This album solves the problem and is very representative of his work. The first disk was recorded at the present club in Frith St. and the earlier one at he old place in Gerrard St.

The Quintet on disk one was together for a long period, right up to the time of Ronnie’s death and the only personnel change was when Ron Matthewson left.

The empathy displayed between all five musicians is excellent, John Critchinson has always been one of the most sympathetic of pianists and Martin Drew, who has been a member of the Oscar Peterson Trio for many years, is without doubt the UK’s No1 drummer. Ron Matthewson has a phenomenal technique on the Double Bass and Dick Pearce is an ideal foil for Ronnie. The programme is a particularly interesting one including the beautifully melodic ‘I’m Glad There is You’, ‘Contemplation’ an interesting McCoy Tyner composition and two fine standards in ‘All the Things You Are’ and ‘This Love of Mine’. Dick Pearce’s trumpet is always melodic and all his solos are enjoyable. Mornington Lockett who I, like Ronnie, greatly admire, is heard on one track only Little Sunflower’. The recording quality on this disk is superior to the other, I suppose in 25 years the equipment had got better!

Disk two was recorded over a two-year period when Ronnie’s band was going through a period of change, only Stan Tracey seemed to be a permanent member. On several tracks the tenor is over-recorded, the new issue perhaps would have benefited from some re-mastering. It is however typical Ronnie Scott and I for one am grateful for that. ‘Easy Living’ and ‘What’s New’ are both out of the top drawer of jazz ballads and I never tire of either. Miles Davies brought ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’ back into the jazz repertoire, but Ronnie’s version does not disappoint. The final track has Ronnie talking at the Club as only he could!

This record is a great way to remember Ronnie Scott, I recommend it.


Don Mather

Don Mather is a Saxophone Player and Bandleader based in Coventry

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