Small World Big Piano Silliness

A conversation with my girlfriend from yesterday, paraphrased:

Me: “This is the Jools Holland album I bought the other day. I read an interesting review which was generally positive except about the silly piano flourishes that Jools always seems to squeeze into places where they shouldn’t be.”

Her: “Well, maybe people like him for the silly piano flourishes.”

Me: “Maybe they do. But I think that he overdoes them sometimes.”

[listens to music as a particularly florid flourish segues in]

Me: “There you go.”

Her: “Okay, you’re right.”


Me: “See, there’s another one.”

2 Replies to “Small World Big Piano Silliness”

  1. 🙂
    That’s cos ‘Small World Big Band’ isn’t the right vehicle for Jools IMHO.

    For me SWBB doesn’t really represent what the jools holland r&b band is about. It’s over compressed, over produced and very commercial. It has no dynamic range, there is no space or body to the sound.

    The guest stars don’t really add as much individuality to the tracks as they could. Some people/fans see it as cash in album.

    The reason that Jools and his band have had so much success is in no small part due to each band member being a virtuoso in his/her own right. Soloing on each instrument is a key part of all Jools gigs. This is great to see because all too often bands are faceless, a mere backdrop for the star up front.

    I only hope that with the money in the bag from this release, Jools can get back to producing studio albums that represent the diverse live experience a bit more. SWBB does not showcase his (and the band’s) talent as much as it should. However the next Jools album is in the same vein as SWBB.

    I can appreciate though that it is difficult for a r’n’b/jazz big band to break into the mainstream -collaborative works provide such a route.

    ‘Hop the wag’ probably best breaches the gap between the old and the new (swbb) and might be a good place for you to start in the meanwhile.

    However if you really want to experience “the spirit of boogie” (without going to a gig) then check out “live performance” ( are selling it at the moment) or try and get your hands on some radio bootleg material form some of the more recent live action. has a live Jools web cast too.

    Personally in the next few years I want to see a live double DVD//CD release from a 3hr super gig 🙂

  2. Jools is playing at Liverpool in December so I’m hoping to see the band then – I just have to convince someone to come along. I’m also bidding on ‘Hop the Wag’ at eBay as we speak!

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