© Sanctuary/BMG Records
August 11 - 17, 2019
Year of Release: 1997
I Still Love You All
Someday (You'll Be Sorry)
Midnight In Moscow
My Mother's Eyes
March Of The Siamese Children
The Green Leaves Of Summer
So Do I
The Pay Off
When I'm Sixty Four
NIna Never Knew
I Wanna Be Like You
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Kenny Ball was a jazz band leader in the 1960s. His name may not be familiar in the United States. He was well-known in England, with his group,
Kenny Ball and His Jazzmen. My knowledge of him was from learning that musician/keyboardist Rick Wakeman was a fan. Ball's jazz music was more of
Dixieland, New Orleans Jazz. And, his music was also lead by the piano, rather than the standard big band sounds of horns as most popular U.S.
bandleaders. Seeing that the piano was the main instrument, it was obvious to why Wakeman would be a fan -- He would be a successful keyboarist in his
own right, being a member of the band Yes, and having a very impressive solo career.
Kenny Ball's Greatest Hits is a 20-track compilation of his songs, covering the years 1961-1967. All of the songs listed on his Wikipedia
page are on this compilation (14). 5 of the songs have vocals, where the rest are instumentals. The 14 songs listed from Wikipedia are basically
in order, with the exception of "My Mother's Eyes," which was not listed, on Wikipedia.
All of the songs on this compilation defines great Dixieland, New Orleans Jazz, and even some Ragtime sounds. "Samantha," "I Still Love You
All" (which was mentioned as a favorite of Rick Wakeman), "Someday (You'll Be Sorry)," "Midnight In Moscow," "March Of The Siamese Children,"
"The Green Leaves Of Summer," "So Do I," "The Pay Off," "Sukiyaki" (the well-known hit by Kyu Sakamoto), "Casablanca," "Rondo," "Acapulco 1922,"
"Hello Dolly," (the Louis Armstrong classic), and "When I'm Sixty Four" (The Beatles) -- all of the songs listed, from Wikipedia.
Vocals: Samantha, Hello Dolly, When I'm Sixty Four, Nina Never Knew (sounds lounge'ish), I Wanna Be Like You
"Heartaches," "Margie," "Caterina," "Nina Never Knew," and "I Wanna Be Like You" are the remaining songs, and, just as the others,
all define the great jazz that Ball provided during his career in England. He continued recording throughout the 1970s and 1980s decades.
In reading about his life (from Wikipedia), he had quite an interesting one. His songs, "Samantha" (Cole Porter), "Midnight In Moscow,"
March of the Siamese Children" were all huge UK hits. He was part of the huge 1963 trad jazz concert in Britian. Ball was one of many jazz
artists to perform, including George Melly, Diz Disley, Acker Bilk, Chris Barber, Alex Welsh, Ken Coyler, Monty Sunshine, Bob Wallis, Bruce Turner,
and Mick Mulligan. Also in 1963, he was honored citizenship in New Orleans, and appeared in the movie with Gene Vincent, Live It Up!
He toured with Louis Armstrong in 1968, and appeared on the popular BBC TV series, Pop Go The Sixties in 1969. Another BBC show he
appeared frequently on, was Morecambe and Wise Show. He recorded the #1 UK album with Acker Bilk and Chris Barber -- The Best Of Ball, Barber
and Bilk He achieved 50 hit singles in the UK, and appeared with other popular Jazz artists, on British Jazz Legends Together.
Kenny Ball passed away of pneumonia, in 2013, although he had kept touring at the time of his death. His son Keith, continues his father's legacy
and touring, billed as "Kenny Ball Junior and His Jazzmen."
Kenny Ball may not be a popular name in the United States, but he was in England. Fans of Dixieland/New Orleans Jazz will enjoy this compilation.
Good Jazz, Good Music. Kenny Ball.
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