256+ VBR LAME mp3 Vinyl rip & scans from T-bow (no cat#)
Totally obscure private press recording of some straight-up jazz with a boppish flavour by saxophonist Mark Allen. Actually, it's more of a collaboration between Allen, the Aurèle Lecompte Trio ca. '78 and the duo of Joe Turner and Robin Moir. In the local region it usually sells for anywhere from $5-$10 but elsewhere in the country and internationally it seems to fetch $50 or more, as is often the case with private press albums. Unfortunately, I couldn't dig up any info on Mark Allen himself and his exceptionally commonplace name wasn't much help, so I gave up my pursuit after a few weeks of dead ends. Apparently the only release by T-Bow Records, there's no other reference to the label name outside of this album.
It was a bit easier to find some info on Aurèle Lecompte since he's still active on the supper club circuit and was holding down resident duties as recently as last year, performing at chi-chi resto gigs in Ottawa and the adjacent Gatineau region of Québéc. There's scant biographical info available, limited to a mention of him having played with Louis Armstrong and Liberace and reference to a position at the Ottawa office of Radio-Canada in the 70s. Recently he's worked often with québécoise chanteuse Jo Bocan, particularly at the upscale St-Estèphe Restaurant and they accompanied its master chef, Stéphane Paquet, to Nice in France for a special cultural exchange event in 2006. According to Tom Lord's extensive Jazz Discography, Lecompte has two performance credits from 1978 but I can't find hide nor hair of the other. The standards "Lullabye Of Birdland,""For All We Know" and "Lady Is A Tramp" are basically showcases for the trio since they lack participation by Allen, Turner or Moir.
Bassist Gilles Champagne had a few other credits in the local Ottawa music scene including a stint in the Orpheus Theatre orchestra in 1979, where he was listed as an organist in the production credits along with drummer Robb. Champagne appears to have ended up at one of the hippie havens of the Canadian West Coast, Saltspring Island (a major source of BC Bud) where he popped up as a member of local classic rock cover band Lookinglass sometime in the mid-90s. Since then he's been replaced by another bassist and seems to have dropped off the map.
Glenn Robb is still very active member of the jazz scene in his native Ottawa, regularly playing drums at the supper clubs of both the Monterey Inn Resort and Villa Lucia as part of various trios (The Monterey, Jazz'oo and Art Lawless Trios to name three) and he gigs weekly with his band Magnolia Rhythm Kings. In his 40+ year career, he's performed on many Canadian TV and film soundtracks and has shared the stage with legends such as Benny Goodman, Bud Freeman, Bud Shank, and Cab Calloway as well as holding membership in the orchestras of Ron Milne, Ken Campbell, Gerry Heike and Champ Champagne.
When it comes to the husband-wife team of music moguls Joe Turner and Robin Moir, however, there's no shortage of info on them or their many projects. Cutting their teeth in Ottawa with a party band called Fizz, they've branched out and built a veritable empire with Isle of Skye Productions that includes a bustling recording studio, music publishing business, artist management, broadcasting and not one but three party bands: The Jaguars, Moetown and the Fifth Avenue band. This album captures them at a relatively young age and early stage in their career and the vocal tracks "Lush Life" and "Little Girl Blue" portray Moir's talent as an interpretive vocalist.
Mark Allen - sax, clarinet Aurèle Lecompte - piano Gilles Champagne - bass Glenn Robb - drums Joe Turner - guitar Robin Moir - vocals
1 Petite Fleur 2 Lush Life 3 You Light Up My Life & I Can't Get Started 4 Lullabye Of Birdland 5 Sweet Georgia Brown 6 Send In The Clowns/Michelle/Like Someone In Love 7 Lady Is A Tramp 8 Little Girl Blue 9 For All We Know 10 Louise
Update: Forgot to mention that the album was produced by Gene Perla, who will be here in Montreal at the venerable Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill this weekend, August 7th & 8th, with Al McClean, Andre White and Dave Lang.