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  Vintage Volume 2 - 2008 Vintage vol 2 - Cy Laurie

This CD is a worthy successor to the first volume of “Vintage Cy Laurie” (Lake LACD 242). Laurie and all of the other musicians on this CD will be quite familiar to readers of this magazine (except, perhaps, the mysterious Peter Arnold, of whom nothing seems to be known). The recordings date back to the mid-50’s, a time when all of the musicians present were at the top of their game, and there is much here that is seeing the light of day for the first time since it was recorded. No fewer than thirteen of the tracks have never been released before in any form, and the remaining nine were on Melodisc 45s, this being their debut on CD.


And what a joy It is to have this material available. There is much to please the ear as all of Laurie’s groups were tight and well-rehearsed – witness the super arrangements of the tunes on the disc. The descending chromatic runs and the breaks on Snake Rag alone attest to that.

Both versions of Dippermouth Blues follow the same arrangement, which delights with its surprising key modulation after the first two choruses by clarinet, followed immediately with another by the ensemble. Then, just as one might anticipate another such modulation in the coda, there is non! Instead there is a double ending.

Another surprise comes in Laurie’s arrangement of Jelly Roll Morton’s The Chant. In the Morton arrangement, the first sixteen measures consist of eight, plus a repeat of these eight eschewing this, Laurie plays the first four measures, repeats them, and then does the same with the second four! That kind of thing can certainly get one’s attention.

The album is replete with other jewels. Just look at the tune list – tunes we seldom heat from bands today, such as Mad Do, Goober Dance, Memphis Shake, and Cootie Stomp, for example. There are two Laurie originals included (that I, for one, have never heard before at all) - Bow Tie Breakdown and Weeping – both keepers. And there is even a tune so many of us associate with Glenn Miller, namely Tuxedo Junction. I think one would be hard-pressed to find another Traditional jazz band that has that one in its repertoire – but as done here, it works!

This CD provides over seventy-eight minutes of pure pleasure, and you can bet the farm that Lake will have another winner on its hands with it. You can order it directly from Lake at or Lake Records, P.O. Box 40, Workington, Cumbria CA14 3GJ by mail.

Review by Bert Thompson

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