NGJB proudly announces the release of the NEW CD

CD RELEASE PARTY June 7th, 2009 | 2-5 PM | at Marin Art & Garden Center San Anselmo

Unlike many traditional jazz bands, the NGJB favors selections which may not be a part of the average musical menu. Here spirited numbers such as Stevedore Stomp, Willie the Weeper, My Memphis Baby, and Goin’ Home provide an opportunity for the band to cut loose a bit. Several blues selections, including Alcoholic Blues, Sobbin’ Blues, Terrible Blues, and Redman Blues go to the root of New Orleans jazz. In Alcoholic, Carl Lunsford’s vocal bespeaks mankind’s struggle with drink. Jim Brennan’s tuba solo in Terrible is truly a classic. And, Redman is a “down and dirty” gut wrencher. Sobbin’ nicely rounds out the blues spectrum with its haunting melodic patterns. Bob Murphy’s soprano sax treatment of Flamingo is a somewhat more modern o­ering but it gives one a chance to hear this artist in a mellow mood. No jazz recording is worth its salt without some downright danceable music. Down Where the Sun Goes Down tickled the toes of old Firehouse Five listeners. Megametz, which pianist Ed Metz, Sr. wrote for his Revelers group, and Cabin in the Pines, once a Louis Armstrong vocal, will also get you out on the dance ‑oor with your honey. I Double Dare You gives Phil Crumley a chance to warble to you as does Goin’ Home where Bill Carson joins him on the vocal. The band’s professor on the piano, Rich Owens, is often featured on this disc, but he sings too on Float Me Down the River and then Deed I Do, where his piano solo and vocal are backed up by the tasty banjo work of Carl Lunsford,Jim Brennan’s tuba, and the drumming of Warren Perry.


MP3 files (30s):


1.       Stevedore Stomp

2.       Down Where The Sun Goes Down

3.       Alcoholic Blues

4.       Red Man Blues

5.       Megametz

6.       Flamingo

7.       I Double Dare You

8.       terrible Blues

9.       My Memphis Baby

10.   Float Me Down The River

11.   Cabin In The Pines

12.   Goin’ Home

13.   Chimes Blues

14.   Deed I Do

15.   Sobbin Blues

16.   Willy The Weeper


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Natural Gas Jazz Band

Water from an Ancient Well

Recorded at Bay Records, Berkeley, CA in October 21st, 2004 by Mike Cogan.





It's not surprising that Natural Gas Jazz Band is one of the most popular traditional jazz bands on the West Coast. These outstanding musicians have been playing together for 35 years, and are followed by their fans to jazz festivals and other venues throughout the world. Taking time from their busy professional lives, NGJB has honed their sound and have developed a musical rapport second to none. Their eclectic book features jazz classics by the likes of Jelly Roll, Armstrong, Beiderbecke, and Ellington, combined with the San Francisco sounds of Lu Watters and Turk Murphy and original compositions by NGJB members Bob Murphy and the late Pete Clute.


         Natural Gas Jazz Band has earned its San Francisco Jazz heritage through long personal and musical relationships with Lu and Turk and other musicians of the Yerba Buena Jazz Band who spearheaded the San Francisco revival of traditional jazz. Pete Clute, NGJB pianist for 11 years, had formerly played with Turk for 26 years. Turk's former banjoist Carl Lunsford also later became a member of NGJB. Yerba Buena JB stars Wally Rose and Bob Helm sometimes subbed or sat in with Natural Gas Jazz Band.


         Solidly based as they are in traditional jazz, NGJB has been willing to introduce new material. Have a listen to "Water from an Ancient Well". I'm sure you will agree that this tune, unfamiliar to most of us, will delight traditional jazz fans.


Dave Strange


(Dave, a retired physician and lifetime jazz fan, has been a friend and supporter of the band since its inception 35 years ago.)


Oriental Strut                         ( 1926, Johnny St. Cyr)                          5.24

Water from an Ancient Well      ( 1985, Abdullah Ibrahim)                      5.37

Tia Juana                                 ( 1924, Conley & Rodemich)                   3.50

Angry                                      ( 1922, Cassard, Brunies & Mecum)        4.27

Daybreak                                  ( 1994, Pete Clute)                                4.00

Bye, Bye, Blues                          ( 1930, Lown& Gray)                             4.42

New Orleans Shuffle                 ( 1925, Whitmore)                                5.11

Taint no Sin                             ( 1929, Donaldson)                                3.47

Jitterbug Waltz                        ( 1942, Fats Waller)                              4.47

Sailin’ Down Chesapeake Bay    ( 1913, Botsford)                                   3.38

Stranger on the Shore              ( 1926, Mellin)                                      3.29

Frogimore Rag                         ( 1918, Jelly Roll Morton)                       5.25

Georgia on my Mind                   ( 1930, Carmichael)                              7.02

Sage Hen Strut                         ( 1944, Lu Watters)                               5.21




This recording by the peripatetic and seasoned, if not venerable, Natural Gas Jazz Band is notable in several respects. It marks the thirty-fifth year the NGJB has been together, with four of the original members (Crumley, Murphy, Lewis, and Perry) still performing. The recording is also significant as the virtuosity and youthful energy of Pat Dutrow on banjo and Rich Owens on piano have propelled the band to new heights of musical excellence. This, coupled with Bob Murphys soprano sax brilliance, makes the recording a listeners delight. The tune selection includes a variety of numbers which will appeal to jazz aficionados and dancers alike. While most of the numbers are well known to all, several deserve special comment. The newest selection, Daybreak, by Pete Clute, composed in 1994, was delivered over to Bob Murphy while Pete was playing piano with the NGJB. Pete was with the NGJB for ten years after spending twenty-eight with Turk Murphy. He passed away in 2001. This is the first recording of Daybreak.  It features Bob’s soprano sax and arrangement. The haunting and soulful composition brings back fond memories of Pete. Water From An Ancient Well, composed by Abdullah Ibrahim also features Bob Murphy. It has become one of the bands most requested selections despite the fact that it contrasts significantly from what a traditional jazz band might be expected to play. The composers South African heritage can be heard clearly. Sailin’ Down Chesapeake Bay puts the spotlight on Pat Dutrows nimble banjo artistry. Not only is Pat a virtual metronome for the band but this selection displays his complete mastery of his instrument. Pianist Rich Owens is the bands newest member; he joined the NGJB in 2004 and this is his first recording with the band. While Dutrow on banjo, Dave Lewis on tuba, and Warren Perry on drums have played together for years as the core of the rhythm section, Owens addition as a powerhouse piano player is nothing short of a shot in the arm. His sheer strength and musical imagination bolster every aspect of the band sound, whether it is his backup rhythm or soloist pyrotechnics. Just listen to Bye, Bye Blues and Georgia on My Mind.             The musical comfort level of the front line, consisting of Bob Murphy, soprano sax, Bill Carson, trombone, and leader Phil Crumley, cornet, is the key to the NGJB sound. These musical veterans have produced a recognizable sound and style long popular with band fans. On this recording a couple of old favorite vocals are presented: Phil Crumley sings Angry, and Bob Murphy warbles T aint No Sin in the hopes that some listener will take off her skin and dance around in her bones.