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The Roy Budd Playathon at Pizza on the Park


Composer: Various
Performed by: Roy Budd, Chris Karan and Pete Morgan
Label: Caldera Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 13 November 2022

Caldera Records present The Roy Budd Playathon, a previously unpublished selection of a legendary jazz marathon featuring Roy Budd, drummer Chris Karan and bass player Pete Morgan. In 1989, the trio played a 24 hour Playathon in Knightsbridge, London. The tapes were recently recovered from Budd’s estate and showcase the composer and pianist at the height of his talent as a supremely gifted entertainer with an incomparable knack for breathing new life into standards that were especially close to his heart...

I'm not overly found of live performances of this type and this release reinforces why. Firstly the audience normally has someone whose laugh or whooping takes you out of the moment, and the banter between the audience and the band can be , as it is on this recording, embarrassingly cringe worthy at times. Events like this are best experiences live when you're in the mood and have probably had a few drinks at the bar. They're not a whole heap of fun sober, sat listening to them alone at home.

Listening to 'Sous le ciel de Paris/Sous les ponts de Paris/I Love Paris' was painful, for me to listen to. A beautiful performance ruined by an audience that chattered in the background, punctuated by occasional maniacal laughter.

Historically this was an important charity event; a 24hr jazz marathon to raise money for Budd's Anti-Drug Abuse Foundation (ADA). At the time of this recording, in the late '80s, Budd was deep in depression. In addition he was under constant, strict observation of a doctor who had to give him multiple back injections due to severe pain during the event. In all honesty it's a miracle and a blessing that this event even happened.

While I'm glad that Caldera has released this - it's so important to give new life to niche and rare albums, it's not personally one for me. If you're a lover of Budd's extensive work, or a fan of jazz standards, then you'll probably find a lot to enjoy here.

Track list:

01. Anoiteceu/Berimbau (10:44)
02. Michel Legrand Suite (18:45)
I Will Wait For You/Watch What Happens/You Must Believe in Spring/Parapluies/Lola
03. Conversation with Henry Mancini (5:16)
Moon River/The Pink Panther
04. Sous le ciel de Paris/Sous les ponts de Paris/I Love Paris (12:47)
05. Ja-da/Tea for Two (7:48)
06. Conversation with Jeremy Irons (3:18)
07. I’m Looking Over A Four-Leaf Clover (5:13)
08. Upa Neguinho/Aguas de marco/Opao/Corcovado (13:54)


Darren Rea

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