The Legendary Eva Taylor, with Maggies Blue Five – Live at The Pawnshop” – Opus 3

by | Sep 11, 2007 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

The Legendary Eva Taylor, with Maggies Blue Five – Live at The Pawnshop – Opus 3 Multichannel SACD CD 22071, 48:34 ****:

(Eva Taylor, vocals; Tomas Ornberg, sop. cl.; Bent Persson, tp.; Jens Jesse Lindgren, tb.; Andreas Heymowski, cl. bel.; Hans Hultman-Boye, p.; Goran Stachewsky, bj.; Lennart Bohm, B.; Margaretha Thalen, vocal on tr. 10; All Arr. by Bent Persson)

The scene was the famous (to audiophiles) Stockholm jazz club known as The Pawnshop, and the day was March 22, 1976.  This was the same venue as the most popular series of jazz with audio buffs, Jazz at The Pawnshop, but although there were a couple hundred people squeezed into the small space, they were much quieter than the crowed on those instrumental recordings.  At the mike was Eva Taylor, who had begun her stint as a singer in vaudeville at age 2 1/2 in 1897!  She was married to pianist/composer Clarence Williams for many years and made records with Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet.  In the mid-1930s she retired from singer, but resumed on a vacation to England in l967 and end up performed in Europe with Maggies Blue Five – a Swedish trad jazz group interpreting the original sound of Clarence Williams’ Blue Five.

Although the liner notes don’t explain it as they did on earlier such multichannel releases, this one’s 4.1 channel surround was obviously derived from an original only two-channel tape, as Opus 3 has done with several of their earlier recordings.  The results are quite good though you may want to turn up your surrounds just a bit.  The front line horns are arrayed across the wide frontal soundstage, Taylor is smack in the center belting them out, and the low frequencies rock the joint, being directed to the LFE channel from 60 Hz on down. All the ten tracks are great – although the one with lyrics about the “little piccaninny” are less than comfortable to hear, historically accurate as they may be. The first four tunes sound like the band is just warming up for track 5 – Cake Walkin’ Babies From Home. Man, do they dig in on that one! And so will your audio system.  If you have a conception of European trad jazz as being dull and corny, give Eva and the Maggies a listen!

 TrackList: Everybody Loves My Baby; I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate; I Found a New Baby; Pap De-Da-Da; Cake Walkin’ Babies From Home; Of All the Wrongs You’ve Done to Me; Are They Pickin’ On Your Baby; Mandy, Make Up Your Mind; High Society; I’m a Little Blackbird

 – John Henry

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