Tony Barnard's All Hat Jazz
Get the WAVE Records (UK) CD
Tracks (Click on the links to hear soundclips of each track.)
SHOTTLE BOP (Tony Barnard) - a hard hop blues and is of course a spoonerism as in "I'm out of beer, I'll just pop down to the shottle bop".
GOD BLESS THE CHILD (Billie Holiday/ Arthur Herzog Jr.) - sung from the heart by Australia's premier Blues singer, Rod Jeffery.
BIRTHDAY SONG (Tony Barnard) - is a samba, Hooray! party time.
VESPERS (Tony Barnard) - a slow wistful piece dedicated to absent friends. Some lovely flugel horn by Alan and beautiful bowed bass under my solo by Dave. It's my favourite.
BLUES FANFARE (Alan Davey) - what can I say? Alan and Robert go berserk! I love it! Listen for Rob's double A (it was a lot longer live).
TWENTY YEARS ON (Rod Jeffery/Tony Barnard) - a good old shuffle blues dedicated to Rod's wife Shirley, a kicking track with great horns.
THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER YOU (Harry Warren/Mack Gordon) - my father Bob and my uncle Len had just finished a gig and popped into the studio at the end of the session, about midnight, so we put down a few drinks as well as this track. A good blower this one. It is also the first lime the four Barnard boys have been recorded together.
DOCTOR BLUES (Rod Jeffery) - screaming blues by the Man Mountain, Rod Jeffery, with the 5 octave vocal range. He actually broke the microphone on this track with just the power of his voice. We all had headphones on at the time, it was loud in there! If you listen carefully a few seconds after the end of the song you'll hear a word from Adam, which we all take to mean, "gosh, Rod ol' son, that was a tad overpowering!"
RHAPSODIC (Tony Barnard) - a thoughtful and evocative piece to finish the album. I wrote this for my mother Pat when she was taken very ill and I was far from home (thankfully she's now fine and busy being brilliant).
"All Hat Jazz played and toured Australia many times from 1988 to 1995 appearing and headlining at jazz festivals, clubs and pubs. We also held a five year residency at the Unity Hall Hotel in the Sydney suburb of Balmain, playing to packed house each week. In fact All Hat Jazz become somewhat of a Sunday institution for the many followers and fans who regularly made the pilgrimage.
Obviously we took our name from the fact that we all wore hats, which started as a bit of a laugh and strangely enough caught on. Many of the regulars would wear hats as well, some so bizarre that we began giving away a bottle of bubble for the zaniest. We even had a brass hat stand on stage, covered of course with odd and embarrassing hats for guest musicians who had foolishly neglected to bring their own.
We had lots of fun, like my brother Adam's drum solos which usually ended up with him leaving the kit and playing the walls, the windows, the tables and the punters, even on the street outside. We usually finished the gig with a big drum roll, the crowd would fall silent as I would take my aim, test the wind and perform the "Throwing the hat across the stage and onto Dave's head routine" which we never quite managed to perfect, much to the amusement of the crowd.
Forgive the nostalgia but this is a special album for me for many reasons. It really has that tightness and sympathetic feel of a band that worked together regularly. There was lots of energy, inventiveness, humor and fun and we made some good music together. "
Tony Barnard - London January 1999
This album was recorded between June & September 1990. In the main it was recorded at EMI 301 in Castlereagh Street, Sydney during June. However, the final touches were initially made at Billy Fields' 'CANTEEN' Studios in Wooloomooloo (Sydney) in the September in preparation for a release shortly thereafter. That release didn't eventuate when, after having held onto the final mix-down for some time, the record company involved decided that it was no longer interested.
Tony moved to London in late 1995. He had followed the love of his life and they were married in Dublin on January 26th, 1996 (AUSTRALIA DAY).
Since that time his reputation as a jazz guitarist and composer has been in the ascendant and in late 1998 it was decided to give the album a belated release in the United Kingdom on his bass player, Peter Ind's own label, WAVE. That happened in January 1999. While the CD has seen release and sales on the Continent and in Canada, the United States and Japan since, the consensus in Australia appears to be that it is unworthy of release because the band is no longer performing. This, even though when copies have been available for sale they have sold out.