The “Doob Doo” Album is John Cee Stannard’s first solo work but not many people know that. In fact, I didn’t know that until John explained it to me. It was released in 2013 and boasts a lavish package – triple-fold digipak with a booklet that really makes a statement. It includes some distinguished musicians: Richard Hudson drums, Nick Pentelow plays saxes and clarinet, former Pentangler Nigel Portman-Smith plays bass and composer and arranger Matt Winch features on trumpet. You can look up his credentials for yourselves.
Sadly, it wasn’t widely circulated at the time and you just couldn’t tour seventeen musicians in support of your first album – but this isn’t a reissue, John calls it a re-launch. The reason for getting it out there now is the release of John’s fifth album, Moving On, which was conceived as a follow-up to Doob Doo. I hope that’s clear. The “Doob Doo” Album started out as straightforward blues album but with the musicians that gathered round it grew and mutated. If you want a soundtrack for a forties-noir movie set in the twilight world of smoky clubs and dodgy deals this is a good place to start.
There are two vintage blues tracks among the originals. The first is Fulton Allen’s ‘Lost Lover Blues’ which contains a number of floating lines about freight trains and morphine and the second is Patrick Sky’s jaunty ‘Separation Blues’ to which John has added a chorus. The set opens with ‘Better Days’, which is more a big band number than a blues, but the blues slowly take over, even when as with the title track, ‘Doob Doo Be Doo Wah’, there is a lacing of humour.
Call it blues, call it jazz, call it anything you wish – this is a fun record that deserves its belated moment in the sun.
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‘Lost Lover Blues’ – official video (more or less contemporaneous with the record):