New Black Eagle Jazz Band Exclusive Concert from 1984
In this sketch made for an album cover, special guest Butch Thompson was at the piano stool.
A unique and exclusive performances by the New Black Eagle Jazz Band, 1984.
Few bands of the last half century have presented Traditional Jazz with
greater virtuosity or ensemble spirit. In the classic Black Eagles,
each musician was a master of their instrument responding with rare sensitivity
to the others as the band built momentum. Listening was key
to their extraordinary ensemble unity and imprinting their signature
onto Classic Jazz tunes.
This session highlights the charismatic singing and
dazzling piano playing of Bob Pillsbury featured on “Cherry.” Note his Earl Hines-like free rhythms in “Pennies
The rich cornet tones of Tony Pringle are on
display, his muted intimacy and powerful lead. A modest MC, his British Midlands brogue charms.
Hugh Blackwell played delightful reeds in the band for a few years
after the 1981 departure of Stan McDonald, but professional
circumstances intervened. He was followed by Billy Novick, who remains
affiliated with the present-day Eagles.
New Black Eagle Jazz Band 11.84 South Bay Traditional Jazz Society, Sunnyvale,
This page contains more than four hours from a magnificent two-night concert series of the band hosted by the South Bay Traditional Jazz Society in Sunnyvale, CA (near San Jose).
Tony Pringle (cornet, vocals, announcements) Hugh Blackwell (clarinet, soprano and alto saxophones) Stan Vincent (trombone) Bob Pillsbury (piano, vocals) Peter Bullis (banjo) Eli Newberger (tuba) Pam Pamier (drums)
Eli Newberger is a brass bass virtuoso second to none with a vast
dynamic range and unmistakable instrumental voice. Delighted with these recovered treasures, he
is “just blown away by the music - the
band at the height of its ensemble intensity, reciprocating the enthusiasm of
the responsive audience - and the clarity of the individual voices.”
On a personal note, in 1984 I was a novice recording engineer, having just
recently gained access to professional recording gear, and was privileged to tape the first
of many encounters with this magnificent band.
I’m astounded today at how vivid and
realistically this performance was captured, requiring no EQ or processing, restoration
nor noise removal. Only the announcements
have been edited, a handful of deficient tracks omitted, and a couple of minor flaws
[session] is not simply a historical record. It’s the culmination of 14 years of gigs,
tours, festivals, recording sessions and lots of rehearsal: spontaneous,
honest, and stunningly recorded, it’s the best we could do and the best we’ve
-- Eli Newberger
Reel 6 of 8
Joe Avery’s Piece Dusty Rag Two Deuces Lily of The Valley