ROGER MARKS - In Retrospect - Marks out of Twenty
Roger Marks’ Armada Jazz Band toured Britain and, to a lesser extent Europe, extensively for 25 years appearing repeatedly at the majority of the jazz clubs and festivals and enjoyed great popularity with the public and critics alike, receiving generous air-play on BBC Radio 2 in particular.
This CD will appeal to a large audience being very much BBC Radio 2 repertoire as well as interesting for the jazz aficionados. Humphrey Lyttelton really liked Roger Marks’ playing and gave him a lot of airplay during his lifetime. I have more than once drawn attention on this program me to the superbly articulated and richly toned trombone playing of Plymouth - based trombonist Roger Marks. Humphrey Lyttelton 31st July 2000 on playing ‘O Sole Mio’ on BBC 2 broadcast 'Best of Jazz'.
…. one of the most accomplished trombone men in Europe ... Brian Harvey. Just Jazz. Sept 2008
It’s my belief, voiced more than once on this programme , that the fluent, warm and sonorous trombone playing of West Country based Roger Marks – cutting as it does a wide swathe of traditional cum mainstream jazz – is of world class quality and should be acclaimed as such. Humphrey Lyttelton.
Tracks 1, 4-5, 7-9, 16 Roger Marks Armada Jazz Band
Tracks 6, 10 Roger Marks and his Mainstreamers
Tracks 2, 15 Roger Marks Quartet
Track 3 Roger Marks and Craig Milverton (piano)
Track 11, 14 Roger Marks and Pete Sumner (banjo)
Track 12 Roger Marks and Duncan Swift (piano)
Track 13 Roger Marks, John Whitlock guitar) and Bob Jarvis (bass guitar
1. O Sole Mio
2. The Way You Look Tonight
3. Stormy Weather
4. Isle of Capri
5. Sweet Sue
6. Try A Little Tenderness
7. Mack the Knife
8. Schlafe Mein Prinzchen
9. Quando, Quando, Quando
10. I Can See Clearly
12. Cheek to Cheek
13. Besame Mucho
14. Dark Eyes
15. On Broadway
16. Sweet Georgia Brown
Reviews of This Recording
Unusually versatile, Roger blends something of Chris Barber's poised jauntiness with lively and quick-witted ideas in the George Chisholm school, and touches of Vic Dickenson's wry supple tonal inflections......a very enjoyable and well-played album.
Hugh Rainey - Jazz Journal
Roger Marks is a tireless bandleader and promoter of Traditional and Mainstream jazz throughout the South West, and for that we should all go down on our knees and thank him.
But it should never be forgotten that he is, first and foremost, a supreme trombonist whose agile but muscular playing brings to mind the likes of Lawrence Brown, Tyree Glenn, Lou McGarity...and perhaps most of all, with his witty quotes and occasional octave leaps, our own beloved George Chisholm.
I first encountered Roger's world class playing in the 1980s and '90s when Humph repeatedly featured him on his Radio 2 record show - en endorsement that guaranteed quality as far as I was concerned (and I'm confident I was right).
So it is both welcome and long overdue that Upbeat has produced this collection of tracks, all featuring Roger as the sole horn, backed by various rhythm sections or, sometimes, just a piano or banjo. Many of the recordings are live, but the sound quality is superb throughout, with just the applause at the end of some tracks giving away the fact that these are not studio recordings.
My personal favourite, however, is a studio recording, Roger's 1966 encounter with stride master Duncan Swift on Cheek to Cheek, a wonderfully invigorating and playful duet on a tune that's not often used by jazz musicians. This track alone makes this CD essential listening, as far as I'm concerned, but there are plenty of other gems to be heard on this celebration of one of Britain's very best trombonists.
Jim Denham - Just Jazz