Sid Phillips and His Band – Fascinating Rhythm

Sleeve Notes:

‘Fascinating Rhythm’ was a very apt title for the tune George Gershwin wrote all those years ago, and which has now become a ‘standard’ and it is also a very apt title for this LP. The rhythm of the Sid Phillips Band is one of its most fascinating qualities. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this LP is the inclusion of arrangements of tunes more associated with the present-day music scene than the usual ‘Golden Era’ nostalgic items that Sid specialises in, and for which he is justly renowned. ‘My Way’, ‘On A Clear Day’ and (surprisingly) the Beatles”Can’t Buy Me Love’ are a departure from the usual delectable fare Sid serves up, and constitute a most musicianly and appetising new taste for the musical palate.

As Sid Phillips followers must know, all the Band arrangements are done by him, and the Maestro’s touch is obvious from the very first bars. The unmistakeable Sid Phillips sound means much to many of us, and this LP is a valuable asset to the music library of anybody who appreciates top quality and top class musicianship.
Now for the titles as they appear on the record:

Fascinating Rhythm: A crystal-clear performance by the Band of an arrangement that includes some quite complicated passages. Effective and satisfying. As usual, Sid’s clarinet enhances the atmosphere, setting the stamp of individuality and quality as it always does.

My Way: The first of the ‘modern’ inclusions. What Sid has achieved here is the presentation of a modern ballad on a rhythmic basis, so that one could really dance to what might be termed a ‘listening’ tune. The clarinet solo-playing is a sheer delight. Would one be far wrong in dubbing Sid ‘the Frank Sinatra of the clarinet’?

When My Sugar Walks Down The Street: Back to the good old Sid Phillips unmatchable interpretation of the ‘good old Oldie’. The kind of performance we all expect and get from the maestro. Most people’s cup of tea. Great stuff.

Comin’ Through The Rye: The first of the two Scottish traditional airs on this LP. A foot-tapping rendition of a tune we all love. Numerous visits to Scotland have made Sid a fan of everything north of the Border, and it was inevitable that he picked out a couple of great Scottish tunes to include in his repertoire.

Can’t Buy Me Love: This is a surprise item. It would have been difficult, hitherto, to associate Sid Phillips with this type of tune. However, a successful example of ‘pop’ with the S.P. treatment has resulted in a perfect rhythmic performance. In this item the precision of the Band is greatly in evidence. Once again, the maestro’s clarinet-playing is out of this world.

Toffee-Nose: An interesting and pleasing composition by Sid rounds off a worthy first side. By now, the quality of this LP is well established, and one turns to Side 2 with interest and anticipation and, to be sure, there are great things to come!

On A Clear Day: Here is clarinet playing at its very best. After the first melody, we get some beautiful extemporising, and the clarinet finale, with the tune way up in the clouds, is really breath-taking. One could term this a masterpiece.

Dream A Little Dream Of Me: A perfect dancing arrangement of a lovely tune. This is great dance music warming and moving. The lilt of the Band together with the immaculate tone of Sid’s clarinet add up to a perfect example of the Sid Phillips brand of dance-music.

Loch Lomond: The second of the Scottish items. Once again, good taste, first-class musicianship and outstandingly-individual arranging result in a grand offering by this best of Dance Bands.

Who’s Sorry Now: An up-tempo, exciting performance, this. Once again, precision-playing is to the fore, and the whole atmosphere really ‘gets’ one. This should lift any listener out of any depressed or down-in-the-mouth mood any time. Sid certainly establishes himself in the forefront of the world’s clarinet-players in this rendering.

Camptown Races: An arrangement by Sid of the old negro folk-song. It moves along very nicely a typical dance number as presented by this great Band

Apple-Pie: A ‘finisher-up-er’ par excellence. An exciting drum feature, composed and arranged by Sid, that ‘lifts the roof’. After the initial tune, the Band subsides, fulfilling a secondary function, leaving the drummer to his own fantastic resources. A ‘blues’ section, in which Sid’s clarinet is accompanied by drums alone, leads to the most exciting drumming for a long time. One does not require technical knowledge to appreciate the great quality of this drum solo. This is a ‘must’ for anybody who desires to possess the best of what rhythmic music has to offer.

Sid Phillips and His Band - Fascinating Rhythm - Beatles Can't Buy Me Love

Label: Contour Records 2870136

1971 1970s Covers

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