The Sheep Island Jazz Band

Home Page     Contact Details     9th January 1999


Tape Samples

From Down By The Riverside
Down By The Riverside (vocal)

Bugle Boy March

We Shall Walk Through The Streets Of The City


I hope you will like the clip from 'Jazz In Sheep's Clothing' at the top of this page. Although I like music, the real jazz enthusiast is Rod, the Sheep Island Jazz Band's leader and trombonist.

If you would like a copy of the cassette then the U.K. price is ?6 Inc. P & P and is still available. Please e-mail or visit my contact page

From the Jazz Guide September 1997


Streets Of The City
Down In Honky Tonk Town
Take My Hand Precious Lord
Corrine Corrina
Canal Street Blues
St Louis Blues
Tishomingo Blues
Down By The Riverside
Black Cat On The Fence
Careless Love
Just A Closer Walk With Thee
Muskrat Ramble
Lily of The Valley
Bugle Boy March

Don't let the name fool you, there's nothing woolly about this cassette by the Kent-based outfit. New Orleans styling, led with pleasing verve by the girl in the band, trumpeter Petra Baldwin with Tony Morris (CIt) band leader Rod Birkin (tmb) Peter Harmer (Bjo) Dave Baldwin (Bass) John Cottis (Drs) and guest vocalist Steve Harding on three tracks. No revolutionary departures from a tried and trusted (and well-loved) programme but no complaints, for they are all welcome like old friends. Insert note by Tony Morris sums it up 'Let this recording be a memorial to all those little known bands who were not recorded. Like them, we never reach perfection but get a lot of enjoyment from playing together and there is always that fleeting moment when all seems to go right and you make someone in the audience's neck tingle. What more could you ask? What more indeed, for aiming at perfection produces good stuff like this.

Insert Notes For me, the Golden Age of Jazz was neither in New Orleans or Chicago, but here in England during the forties and fifties, when emerging British bands were not only reviving an almost forgotten music but adding a unique quality of their own.

It was on this foundation that many of the bands we hear today were founded, rather than on the earlier roots of jazz for the original recordings, so plentiful now were not so readily available, or even affordable then.

Infinitely more accessible was the Jazz Club. There you could hear live, the likes of Ken Colyer, Mike Daniels, 'Humph', Chris Barber, and all the other young pioneers of the time. There is also a restriction to listening to old recordings, which is, by and large, you will hear only those bands who were considered commercially viable at that time. Yet there must have been dozens of other bands that we will never hear of, playing in clubs and 'dives' from New Orleans to New York: perhaps technically not such good musicians yet playing with vitality and enthusiasm that entertained the fans just as well.

Let this recording by the Sheep Island Jazz Band be a memorial to all those little known, rough bands who were not recorded. Like them we never reach perfection, but we get a lot of enjoyment from playing together, and there is always that fleeting moment when almost quite by accident all seems to go right, and you make someone in the audience's neck tingle: what more could you ask for?

Tony Morris 10 Oct '96

Peter Apps

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