The Vitality Five and V.E.A.C. Phonograph Co. present a new series of monthly "e-78" releases which harks back to the custom of releasing music on double-sided 78rpm shellac records.
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.
released June 15, 2018
Michael McQuaid: cornet (1), alto sax (2)
David Horniblow: clarinet (1), bass sax (2)
Martin Wheatley: banjo
Andrew Oliver: piano
Nicholas D. Ball: drums
"Sphinx" by J. Berni Barbour
"Deep Blue Sea Blues" by Clara Smith
Recorded and Mixed by Andrew Oliver at Stantonville, London UK
Mastered by Timothy Stollenwerk, Sterephonic Mastering, Portland, Oregon
Artwork by Nicholas D. Ball