April 20, 2024


Website about Jazz and Blues

CD review: Kit Packham’s One Jump Ahead – Everybody Love’s A Boogie! – 2024: Video, CD cover

Kit Packham is a bandleader, singer, saxophonist, composer, record producer and manager, with red hot material, irresistible rhythms and good humoured vocals. Kit’s ensemble, One Jump Ahead, were dubbed by Time Out ‘class exponents of the jump jive oeuvre.’

Kit is a good singer with a first-rate band with a swinging horn section. They do justice to most of the covers of standards, as well as original songs that sound authentic from the era.

Ok, I can deal with Louis Jordan-like music, like the original “Everybody Loves A Boogie”, the title song. It is upbeat with good guitar playing and a crack horn section. A spoken intro leads in to the rather hokie “Don’t Clap On The First Beat Of The Bar”. “Old Rock ‘N’ Roll Songs Never Die”, but this is hardly a rock ‘n’ roll song. They give a good rendition of “Don’t Get Around Much Any More”. “Love Me Love My Saxophone” is a bit corny, although the sax playing is nice.

The words of “Route 66” are changed to A-23 along to references of English towns. Tribute is paid to a favorite haunt in “Alley Club Blues” as they complement the food. “Lockdown Chase” is a catchy instrumental. “My Funny Valentine” becomes “My Swingin’ Valentine” in the hands of these hep cats. The merits of the lonely spud is the subject of “I Dig Potatoes” with its’ witty lyrics.

“Basingstoke” is apparently about an English town. Its’ alternate lyrics are sung to the tune of “Baby Face”. A clever device is using a song as an advertisement to buy their CD, aptly titled “Buy A CD”. Um…If you are listening to it, you already own the CD. “get off your ass and buy a CD”. The record appropriately ends with a goodbye mini medley, “We Had A Real Good Time/We’ll Meet Again”.

Well, for those who enjoy this genre of music, it is certainly well done. In the immortal words of Batman-“To each his own said the lady as she kissed her cow”. See you in the funny papers.

The answer is a uniquely entertaining 7-piece band called One Jump Ahead. They’ve also got over a hundred songs in their repertoire to get people dancing and enjoying themselves! They have wowed audiences from Islington to Israel, Clerkenwell to County Cork and from Docklands to Deutschland!

One Jump Ahead are led by singer, saxophonist and songwriter, Kit Packham. The rest of the band consists of: piano, guitar, bass, drums, trumpet and another saxophone. 40’s jump/jive star Louis Jordan used an identical format and the swinging tempos, sizzling sax solos and humour of his songs are equally abundant in Kit’s own critically acclaimed material. The rest of the repertoire stretches from Fats Waller to Fats Domino taking in Duke Ellington, T-Bone Walker and Jon Hendricks among others.

Although the band take their inspiration from the 1940s, they are playing for the sophisticated jazz audiences of today. Among the energetic Jitterbugs and Lindy-hops, you’ll find contemporary instrumentals full of atmosphere. For a change of pace, there are Latin numbers and the funky ‘second-line’ rhythms of New Orleans. But swinging tempos aimed at the feet are their speciality. The successful revival of Jordan’s music in Five Guys Named Moe showed that people still love to party!

The good-time atmosphere was apparent on their debut album On The Shady Side Of The Street released under their earlier name Kit Packham & The Sudden Jump Band. They became One Jump Ahead in the early 90s. This was also to be the title of their next album, released in 1992. By now, Kits songwriting skills were fully honed and the 8 pieces he composed for the project drew the phrases “quite superb”, “the best R’n’B lyricist in the country” and “notable contributions to the genre”, from the critics. Their latest album, From Top to Toe, came out in 1999 to further rave reviews. “Packham….confirms his position at the very top of the compositional tree…”, “..classic R&B..” and “..top-class playing…” were some of the comments this time.

I’m a keen jive dancer and I wanted this album to appeal to that jive dance scene more than any other group. I think we’ve done that much more successfully with this album than any of the previous ones, which probably tried to appeal to too many different groups. It was also great to finally complete the tracks from earlier sessions included on the album, which had been languishing, half-finished for literally years! There are still quite a number of pieces from those earlier sessions remaining that didn’t really fit the dancer-friendly profile that I wanted. I hope to be able to get some of those ready for release later this year. I always have a number of half-finished songs kicking around that need completing too, so hopefully a few of those will see the light of day. It was just a case of whoever was in the live band at the time. There were no “special guests” brought in. The earliest recordings included a different bassist and a different pianist to those who are in the band today and one of our job-sharing guitarists and one of our job-sharing drummers just got to play on a few tracks each. Most band members come by recommendation from others. The usual pattern is that they come in to dep for a one-off gig; that gets repeated a few more times and at some point I offer them a permanent position in the band. Over the band’s nearly 40 year lifespan we’ve had some well-known jazz and blues musicians as members for a while. Billy Jenkins, Tim Richards, Ike Leo, Hilary Cameron and Nigel Price are a few who were full members of the band for a while. Mark Lockheart, Karen Sharp, Jo Fooks, Richard Busiakiewicz, Martin France, Paul Robinson, Sam Kelly, and Zoltan Dekany have played with us more informally,- an interview with us said Kit Packham.

Buy from here – New CD 2024

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