The thing about Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames was that they could adapt their sets to suit the audience and their playlist was totally eclectic featuring jazz, pop, ska, soul and blues. When they played the jazz slot at Klooks Kleek one evening in August 1963, their repertoire included songs by Louis Jordan, Fats Waller, Cab Calloway and Charlie Parker.
On side one of this album, the group are captured playing live at London’s Camden Theatre in March 1964. Whilst many of their contemporaries were trying their hardest to wail their harmonicas in Chicago style, the band make Jimmy Reed’s ‘Bright Lights, Big City’ sound like a Jon Hendricks jazz tune.
You certainly won’t get bored with the eclectic contents of this album. It contains all of Fame’s early 60s influences including jazz from Mose Allison, Jon Hendricks and James Moody, soul from Lee Dorsey, Rufus Thomas and James Brown, pop from Teddy Randazzo and blues from Jimmy Reed and B.B. King.
So is it jazz, pop or R&B? Let’s just call it the blues.
Sleeve notes by Paul ‘Smiler’ Anderson