This period of Chris Barber´s career saw the first reunion of the original Chris Barber´s Jazz Band of 1954 - 1955. So this live album is called Jubilee Tour Album featuring two really very interesting musicians: Ray Nance & Alex Bradford (which whom Barber played in the early 60´s):
Ray Nance was a multi-talented individual. He was a fine trumpeter who not only replaced Cootie Williams
with Duke Ellington's Orchestra, but gave the "plunger" position in
Duke's band his own personality. In addition, Nance was one of the
finest jazz violinists of the 1940s, an excellent jazz singer, and even a
dancer. He studied piano, took lessons on violin, and was self-taught
on trumpet. After leading a small group in Chicago (1932-1937), spending
periods with the orchestras of Earl Hines (1937-1938) and Horace Henderson (1939-1940), and a few months as a solo act, Nance joined Duke Ellington's
orchestra. His very first night on the job was fully documented as the
band's legendary Fargo concert. A very valuable sideman, Nance played a
famous trumpet solo on the original version of "Take the 'A' Train" and
proved to be a fine wa-wa player; his violin added color to the suite
"Black, Brown and Beige" (in addition to being showcased on numerous
songs), and his singing on numbers such as "A Slip of a Lip Will Sink a
Ship" and "Tulip or Turnip" was an added feature. Nance was with
Ellington with few interruptions until 1963; by then the returning Cootie Williams
had taken some of his glory. The remainder of Nance's career was
relatively insignificant, with occasional small-group dates, gigs with Brooks Kerr and Chris Barber (touring England in 1974).
Professor Alex Bradford (1927 – 1978) was a multi-talented gospel composer, singer, arranger and choir director who was a great influence on artists such as Little Richard, Bob Marley and Ray Charles and who helped bring about the modern mass choir movement in gospel.
Born in Bessemer, Alabama,
he first appeared on stage at age four, then joined a children's gospel
group at thirteen, soon obtaining his own radio show. He organized
another group after his mother sent him to New York City following a racial incident; he continued singing after returning to attend the Snow Hill Institute in Snow Hill, Alabama, where he acquired the title "Professor" while teaching as a student.
He moved to Chicago in 1947, where he worked briefly with Roberta Martin and toured with Mahalia Jackson,
then struck out on his own with his own group, the Bradford Singers,
followed by another group, the Bradford Specials. He recorded his first hit record,
"Too Close To Heaven" (1954), billed as Professor Alex Bradford and his
singers, sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc, then followed it with a number of other successes in the rest of the decade.
Artists such as Little Richard imitated Bradford's energetic style, ranging from a gravelly bass to a whooping falsetto, and his flamboyant stage presence. Ray Charles,
for his part, not only borrowed some of Bradford's vocal mannerisms but
based his Raelets on the Bradford Specials. His 1962 gospel song
composition "Let the Lord Be Seen in Me", recorded for his "One Step
& Angel on Vacation" album, was also recorded in 1964 by an emerging
force in Jamaican music, Bob Marley
& the Spiritual Sisters. Marley later adopted the Rastafarian
faith, but along with his mother, at first he sung gospel in the local
Shilo Apostolic Church.
In 1961, when his recording career was in decline, Bradford joined the cast in "Black Nativity", based on the writings of Langston Hughes. He appeared in Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope, for which he won the Obie award, in 1972. He died in 1978 as the musical Your Arms Too Short to Box with God was in production.
This double-LP was reissued on a Timeless CD, but it is unfortunately no longer commercially available.