Reissue specialists, Fantastic Voyage have just released a whole tranche of vintage jazz albums. Collectors of British jazz will be particularly interested in four sets that focus on London’s legendary Flamingo club. First up there’s a ten tracker – aptly called ‘Jazz At The Flamingo’ . It features various combos who worked the club in the fifties and includes cuts from THE EDDIE THOMPSON TRIO, THE JAZZ COURIERS, THE TOMMY WHITTLE QUINTET and THE LONDON JAZZ QUARTET. That quartet – TONY CROMBIE, TUBBY HAYES, ALAN BRANSCOMBE and JACK FALLON have their own eponymous album on Fantastic Voyage too. The music on their set was recorded in 1959 and originally released on the Tempo label before winning its first reissue on Ember.
The QUARTET’S drummer TONY CROMBIE is featured on Fantastic Voyage’s third new set – ‘Whole Lotta Tony’. This album was originally released in 1961 and makes it first ever appearance on CD. The fourth Flamingo -linked album is ‘Stompin’ With The Ronnie Ross Quintet’. ROSS was an acclaimed baritone sax player and a mainstay on the Soho jazz scene. Interestingly, in the 60s he went onto work with DAVID BOWIE and it’s his sax that features on LOU REED’S ‘Walk On The Wild Side’.
The busy Fantastic Voyage have also released albums on the MILLS BROTHERS and MAXWELL DAVIS. The MILLS BROTHERS’ offering is a three CD pack that covers the career of the close harmony group between 1931 and 1958 and features collaborations with LOUIS ARMSTRONG and ELLA FITZGERALD. MAXWELL DAVIS was a jazz sax man who veered over to the burgeoning R&B scene where he worked with people like BIG JOE TURNER, T-BONE WALKER, JOHNNY GUITAR WATSON, BB KING and ETTA JAMES. He also mentored soulstress JACKIE DAY – on whom Kent have just released a retrospective CD (check our review). The DAVIS LP is entitled ‘Wailin’ Daddy’ and the triple set covers his career between 1945 and 1959.