Rob Adams in The Herald
may 2008 ]
"KEN MATHIESON’S CLASSIC JAZZ ORCHESTRA SALUTES THE KINGS OF JAZZ
CLASSIC JAZZ ORCHESTRA
Lake £11.99 ****
Drummer Mathieson’s CJO manages two tricks on this splendid second album. Not only does it sound simultaneously vintage and fresh (the music is predominantly 1920s to 1940s), it sometimes sounds as if more than eight musicians are involved. You also wouldn’t immediately assume that these were Scottish musicians paying homage to jazz’s greatest early band-leading heroes and giving voice to Mathieson’s heartfelt blues for the more recently-departed clarinettist, Kenny Davern. But through lovingly applied arrangements and high-class solos, the music stomps, waltzes, sings and swings, as intended, in the moment."
Jonathan Woolf in Music Web International
[ 2008 ]
"Ken Mathieson LACD261 Jazz CD Reviews- 2008 MusicWeb International
Ken Mathieson has an eight-piece band; two brass, three reeds and three rhythm. It’s neither too big nor too small and can play big band arrangements whilst also attending to the demands of small group improvisation. With this disc the band, and its leader in particular via his charts, salutes various Kings of Jazz – Armstrong, Oliver, Morton, Beiderbecke, Waller and Fletcher Henderson.
One of the strengths of the band lies in not surrendering corporate identity when playing songs associated with such disparate origins. The mainstream ethos is maintained throughout, and the soloists prove to be strong players with their own sounds and ideas. Dick Lee for example takes a fine solo on Mahogany Hall Stomp where we find Martin Foster’s baritone anchoring things with his confident pedal notes. Trombonist Phil O’Malley, an experienced player, has something of the suavity of Roy Williams though there’s grit in his tone too when he stretches out on Mandy Make Up Your Mind. Mathieson worked with Kenny Davern over many years and has penned a tribute to the late American clarinettist in the lineage of Blues for Jimmy Noone. But the Davern Blues is a