Recorded at Kammermusiksaal der Berliner Philharmonie, September 19, 2008. The Jazzwerkstatt was just launched when my good English friend (saxophonist) Alan Skidmore and his quartet gave a concert dedicated to the music of John Coltrane. Later we talked about Georgie Fame whom I had seen just recently in a Van Morrison BBC feature. Some days before Id heard Georgie's CD with the Danish Radio Big Band and, anyway, I knew him well for a long time. Moreover, I had to arrange a concert with (German jazz/soul singer and songwriter) Uschi Brüning. That is how it was decided to stage a concert at the (Berliner Philharmonie) Kammermusiksaal the way we hear it on this CD.
This box is the definite overview of Georgie Fame's Columbia recordings, gathering all 46 tracks from Fame's four albums for the UK Columbia recordings, with no less than sixty bonus tracks from non lp singles, non lp EP tracks, album outtakes, BBC sessions, a 1963 demo session and stray live recordings. Several tracks included have previously been issued only on limited Japanese editions of these Fame albums. Georgie Fame is a seminal figure in British popular music who helped to introduce the sounds of rhythm and blues, jazz, soul, ska and other ‘black’ music styles to a UK audience in the 1960s.
In the autumn of 1984 composer and arranger Steve Gray and myself were involved in a concert for Dutch radio, with the renowned Metropole Orchestra with whom we had both worked individually in the past. Another member of that production was the well known Dutch entertainer Edwin Rutten. The three of us went to supper after the concert and Edwin suggested that Steve and I might compose an original work which could be performed with the Metropole Orchestra. We were flattered and a little excited by the prospect but nothing further was discussed. In January 1985 I was on one of my regular tours of Australia when Steve called me in Sydney to say that he'd heard from Holland and the project was on!. Furthermore the proposed recording dates were March 3rd/4th and 5th. I wasn't due back in England until…
Georgie Fame's swinging, surprisingly credible blend of jazz and American R&B earned him a substantial following in his native U.K., where he scored three number one singles during the '60s. Fame played piano and organ in addition to singing, and was influenced by the likes of Mose Allison, Booker T. & the MG's, and Louis Jordan. Early in his career, he also peppered his repertoire with Jamaican ska and bluebeat tunes, helping to popularize that genre in England; during his later years, he was one of the few jazz singers of any stripe to take an interest in the vanishing art of vocalese, and earned much general respect from jazz critics on both sides of the Atlantic.
At least once a year, usually just before the holiday season, Georgie Fame takes up residency at Ronnie Scott’s club in London. This particular recording was done during November, 1995. 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.
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. Pianist Debbie Poryes works here with a Dutch trio formed right after her arrival on that scene – a nicely-balanced group that really respects Debbie's sensitive touch on the keys, and seems to make her subtle sounds come out even more than they might in the setting! Poryes has an approach that's on the mellower side of lyrical – kind of a post-Bill Evans approach, but even more subtle overall – yet one that's also very striking in its subtlety – as the lean choices of notes show just how far and free jazz piano had come by this time, but in ways that could still swing and stay inside. The group features Hein Van De Geyn on bass and Hans Eykenaar on drums – and titles include "For Brad", "Sweet Georgie Fame", "Holland", "Foolish Door", and "My Romance".