Chris Tyle's Silver Leaf Jazz Band's compact disc "New Orleans Wiggle," earns 2003 Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD's top award!

(Note: The 6th edition of the Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD's has over 10,000 entries. Of those, only 152 recordings received 4 stars, and out of those 152, only 10 received crowns.)

**** (and a crown) (see below for explanation)

The name of the group - Chris Tyle's Silver Leaf Jazz Band of New Orleans, is now a proud declamation, and Tyle is right to feel chuffed with this quartet and their rugged, sweet, hot music. The four men are by now masters of the style they set out to inhabit, which isn't really Dixieland, revivalism or even "New Orleans;" it's a modern methology applied to classic principles, and the results are entirely of their own time. The material goes as near in as St. Louis Blues and as far out as Lovie Austin's Stepping on the Blues - a mix of populism and connoisseurship which ought to appeal to anybody. Tyle and Kellin play with stinging spirit and not too much finesse, Pistorius finds all the right feeds and stomps with superb Úlan, but if one player stands out it's Gill, whose tumbling bravado and dazzling stickmanship makes the quartet into an orchestra. Recorded without needless echo, the sound is as evocative as it should be. Essential, and one of our most played records for this new edition.

**** Very fine. An outstanding recording that yields consistent pleasure and is a notable example of the artist's work.

In a very few cases we have chosen a special token of merit in our guide; it takes the form of a crown. This is to denote recordings we feel a special admiration or affection for; a purely personal choice which we hope our readers will deem as such. It is by no means something of the order of an "All-Time Top 100" or whatever; more a personal indulgence.


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