VEAC Records

Sphinx / Deep Blue Sea Blues

The Vitality Five presents a new series of monthly releases which harks back to the custom of releasing music on double-sided 78rpm shellac records.  The band now presents a series of “e-78”s every month, of two tracks each.  This month’s release is now available from:

SPOTIFY | GOOGLE PLAY MUSIC | APPLE MUSIC | TIDAL | DEEZER

This month’s release kicks off with a composition originally recorded in London in 1919 by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band and written by one J Berni Barbour, who was, interestingly, the first African-American to run his own music publishing company.  His “Sphinx” is a early jass-style romp through a variety of sections fitting in with the exotic motif of the 1920s.  David Horniblow is featured on clarinet and Michael McQuaid on very authentic period cornet playing, along with well researched and exciting late teens drumming from Nick Ball.  For contrast, the “flip side” is “Deep Blue Sea Blues,” a lovely blues number written by the blues singer Clara Smith.  The Five’s version is inspired by the Goofus Five, a late 1920s small group made of members of the famous California Ramblers, one of the most prolific recording bands of the era.  Michael McQuaid demonstrates his versatility here with a beautiful alto sax style in the style of the nearly forgotten Bobby Davis along with a typically masterful banjo solo by Martin Wheatley and some lovely clarinet and bass saxophone solos to conclude the track.

Vitality Record Club Podcast Episode 1 – April 2018

We’re kicking off a new podcast here at the Vitality Five, featuring records from our collections of 78s and those of our friends.  In addition to playing music together, we like to get together when time permits to hang out and listen to old records, and thought the podcast would be a nice way to share that!  Here’s a selection of fantastic music we listened to at our last record hang here in London in April 2018, with all five of us plus our buddies Chris Lowe and Alex Mendham.

The music ranges from 20s and 30s hot jazz and dance bands from the US and UK to some great early British banjo playing, Hawaiian music, and of course the occasional oddity!  This episode is hosted by our pianist Andrew Oliver.  Stay tuned for more next month!

1. Tiny Parham – Nervous Tension
2. Boyd Senter – Not Maybe
3. Friar’s Society Orchestra – Tiger Rag
4. Arthur Young and his Youngsters – Any Old Rags Part 1
5. Earl Hines (playing the Storytone piano) – Child of a Disordered Brain
6. John Thorne and Chorus – Widdicombe Fair
7. Memphis Melody Players – A Blues Serenade
8. Merry Melody Men – Pucker up and Whistle
9. California Ramblers – After You’re Gone
10. Sid Phillips and his Rhythm – Woe is Me
11. George Clinton – Dreams of Darkie Land
12. Husk O’Hare’s Super Orchestra of Chicago – San
13. Fess Williams and his Royal Flush Orchestra – Playing my Saxophone
14. Rudy Widoeft – Sax-O-Phun
15. Mamie Smith’s Jazz Hounds – Shim-Me-King’s Blues
16. Joe Daniels & his Hot Shots – A Man and his Drum
17. Linda “Hawaii’s Canary” – E Mama E
18. Jack Crawford and his Orchestra – Swanee Shore
19. Vess L. Ossman – Maple Leaf Rag
20. Jimmie Noone and his Orchestra – Hell in My Heart
21. Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers – The Chant

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Every Evening / Jacksonville Gal

The Vitality Five presents a new series of monthly releases which harks back to the custom of releasing music on double-sided 78rpm shellac records.  The band now presents a series of “e-78”s every month, of two tracks each.  This month’s release is now available from:

SPOTIFY | GOOGLE PLAY MUSIC | APPLE MUSIC | TIDAL | DEEZER

This month’s release begins with the band performing a tune associated with the great New Orleans clarinetist Jimmie Noone and his Apex Club Orchestra.  “Every Evening” features Michael McQuaid’s sweet-toned alto rendition of the melody followed by some very raucous piano by Andrew Oliver and a stop-time clarinet tour de force by David Horniblow.  The more mellow “Jacksonville Gal” represents the Five’s foray into the many early jazz tunes associated with train sounds.  This bluesy and very rarely played tune with a mysterious minor section and great solos by David Horniblow on bass saxophone and Martin Wheatley on banjo brings this month’s typically eclectic selection of tunes by the Vitality Five to a close.

Copenhagen / Little By Little

The Vitality Five presents a new series of monthly releases which harks back to the custom of releasing music on double-sided 78rpm shellac records.  The band now presents a series of “e-78”s every month, of two tracks each.  This month’s release is now available from:

SPOTIFY | GOOGLE PLAY MUSIC | APPLE MUSIC | TIDAL | DEEZER

For April, we present the raucous “Copenhagen,” arranged by our drummer Nicholas D. Ball.  A major hit of the 1920s, played by many of the major dance bands and hot jazz bands alike, this one features the multi-talented Michael McQuaid on cornet and alto sax and David Horniblow on bass sax and clarinet.  Moving through a scintillating series of breaks and solos and culminating in a stomping blues chorus, it’s a winner!  The second track is the mellow and sweet tune “Little by Little,” as recorded by the Louisiana Rhythm Kings.  A sweet melody by McQuaid on cornet and inventive piano work from Andrew Oliver round out this month’s e-78!

New Orleans Wiggle / Boneyard Shuffle

The Vitality Five presents a new series of monthly releases which harks back to the custom of releasing music on double-sided 78rpm shellac records.  The band now presents a series of “e-78”s every month, of two tracks each.  This month’s release is now available from:

SPOTIFY | GOOGLE PLAY MUSIC | APPLE MUSIC | TIDAL | DEEZER

New Orleans Wiggle - Boneyard Shuffle

For our third release, the Vitality Five starts off back in the very early days of New Orleans jazz with a composition of Piron’s Orchestra, one of the early jazz/ragtime dance bands in New Orleans.  Reimagined as a small group piece, “New Orleans Wiggle” features the band stomping out a very old style tune in a classic way, with a special emphasis on Michael McQuaid’s sweet and hot clarinet playing.  Then the band shows another side with a cerebral and sophisticated arrangement of Hoagy Carmichael’s “Boneyard Shuffle” by Red Nichols.  Featuring the unusual front line of alto sax and bass sax, the group captures the subtle spirit of progressive late 1920s jazz at its finest!

Morocco Blues / High Fever

The Vitality Five presents a new series of monthly releases which harks back to the custom of releasing music on double-sided 78rpm shellac records.  The band now presents a series of “e-78”s every month, of two tracks each.  This month’s release is now available from:

SPOTIFY | GOOGLE PLAY MUSIC | APPLE MUSIC TIDAL | DEEZER

MB - HF FINAL (1)

The February “e-78” features on the virtual “A” side, an intriguing tune with a tango feel and a sentimental melody, “Morocco Blues.”  Written by Joe Jordan, one of the earliest American jazz musicians to come over to the U.K., it features the Five’s pianist, Andrew Oliver in a tango section followed by some mellow and bluesy improvisations from Michael McQuaid on clarinet.  The “B” side features a very hot number, “High Fever,” written by pianist Joe Sanders and recorded by many great bands of the 1920s.  This one features a plethora of instrument switching from David Horniblow and Michael McQuaid, culminating in an exciting blues chorus with hot Freddie Keppard-style cornet by McQuaid!

Recorded and Mixed by Andrew Oliver
Mastered by Timothy Stollenwerk, Sterephonic Mastering
Artwork by Nicholas D. Ball

31st St. Blues / Three Blind Mice

The Vitality Five presents a new series of monthly releases which harks back to the custom of releasing music on double-sided 78rpm shellac records.  The band now presents a series of “e-78”s every month, of two tracks each.  This month’s release is now available from:

Spotify | Google Play Music | Apple Music | Tidal | Deezer

31st - 3BM FINAL (1)

The January “e-78” features two stylistically varied selections. “31st St. Blues,” originally recorded by the very obscure Oliver Naylor Orchestra, features McQuaid on cornet, leading a new take on one of the many 1920s blues tunes which transforms the more traditional boundaries of the blues form and through many twists and turns into a unique and hard grooving stomp.  In addition to McQuaid’s searing cornet work, the track features great solos from Oliver and Wheatley. “Three Blind Mice,” made famous in a recording by the great Bix Beiderbecke, features the band in a more cerebral mode, interpreting a tricky tune with an emphasis on group interaction and subtle movements between sections, with standout bass saxophone work by Horniblow.

Recorded and Mixed by Andrew Oliver
Mastered by Timothy Stollenwerk, Sterephonic Mastering
Artwork by Nicholas D. Ball