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Georgie Fame: Walking Wounded

This recording is simply a great deal of fun. The title alludes to a flu or bug of some description that laid the entire band low just prior to the gig at Ronnie Scott’s that contributed these sessions. Despite such energy-sapping interference, the not quite venerable but certainly veteran leader and his cohorts turn in a very lively set, indeed. It opens with Fame at the piano on a solo reading of “Eros Hotel,” his own setting of a Fran Landesman poem that is wonderfully evocative of a stealthy urban tryst-one imagines. The group builds from there: first a fine rhythm section, including Anthony Kerr on vibes, Geoff Gascoyne on bass, Tristan Powell on guitar, and James Powell on drums; then a front line of Guy Barker on trumpet, Alan Skidmore on tenor sax, and Peter King on alto sax. All three hornmen acquit themselves admirably, including some very high velocity work from Barker. The set is rife with quotations, allusions, and musical tribute of one sort or another, and entirely free of pretension. Perhaps that is what gives Jon Hendrix’s “Yeh Yeh” such a fresh face after all these years.

Originally Published