Big Chief were around for a long time before their debut It Don’t Make Sense reissued here with bonus tracks. With lashings of the blues, creolised early rock ’n’ roll, rampaging jazz-rock and a boogie-ing good time vibe, you won’t forget Big Chief in a hurry. Last year’s reissue of Major Surgery’s First Cut started the ball rolling in this pub-jazz direction, and Big Chief were conceived the same year as First Cut was recorded. The north London band’s debut here, recorded in a BBC Shepherd’s Bush studio years later, featured saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith and was originally issued in 1997 by Teepee Records.
The material is rousing and bluesy only pausing for breath a bit with Ellington’s ‘Mood Indigo’. This reissue comes with two excellent live bonus tracks that go back to the 80s, one a cover, how appropriately, of the Professor Longhair hit ‘Big Chief’ complete with requisite whistling and outrageously funky sax from Heckstall-Smith and throaty vocals from John Fry against Adrian Paton's keyboards; the other Heckstall-Smith’s soul drenched take on Billy Taylor’s much loved ‘I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free’.
Released on 10 March
Updated with correct original issuing label.