Friday, November 29, 2013
Earl Robinson and the Five Scamps Live at the Sni-Blue Lounge Volume #1 Paul Grey Productions
Not sure what year this came out, but it's likely late 70's, early 80's. There's a lot of stuff like this floating around in KC. The jazz scene was a distant memory to most at this moment in time, but many of the players remained and played locally on a nightly basis. A number of brave souls decided to fund private press recordings of these old timers, I can't imagine any of them had success. By this time, Jazz was on its last legs as a genre, not just a distant memory in Kansas City.
Earl Robinson and the Five Scamps date all the way back to 1937 and were generally referred to simply as the Five Scamps. The founding members met each other working in Kansas based Great Depression work camp. They put the Scamps together and released work as Five Scamps on Columbia, O'Keh, and a few other small labels. Their early work is great jump blues and was regulated to the R&B scene that played second fiddle to Kansas City Jazz.
This release finds the band playing jazz. It doesn't swing too hard, the Sni-Blue Lounge was located next to the Sports Complex far away from Kansas City night life. The crowd would have been causal drinkers and dinner patrons. They find moments to swing, but keep it pretty in check throughout the recording.