ARTISTES: Digby Fairweather and Chris Ellis
CD TITLE: Digby Fairweather Archives: CHRIS ELLIS
Label: Rose Cottage Records (RCR005)
Listen: track 1 – You Can’t Stop Me From Dreaming
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Chris Ellis was one of my very favourite male singers since we first met around 1970 (he still is in 2016!) and at that time he was singing regularly around London with American cornettist Dick Sudhalter, pianist Keith Nichols and lots of my other favourite musicians and friends. So it was a pleasure – and an honour – when, in 1986, Chris asked me to play on his one-and-only solo album; to be called ‘Vocal with Hot Accompaniment” and commissioned by producer Brian Hainsworth for his pioneering ‘Dormouse’ label. It was a marvellous set but – tragically – Brian died very soon after and the album (along with the rest of the Dormouse catalogue) was deleted. Chris kept the tapes however and in 2012 generously offered me the rights to reissue the album on my ‘Rose Cottage’ label which (of course) I was more than happy to do. We added some extra tracks too (unissued broadcasts; three more from my second solo album ‘Goin’ out stepping’ in 1978 and one taster track from another great album of Hoagy Carmichael songs commissioned by Chris for his ‘Retrieval’ label which came out in 1999 and titled ‘Moon Country’). I love this album both for the playing by lots of great musicians and also – of course – for Chris’ incomparable singing; rather like a watercolour George Melly maybe?