Roger Cotton and Alan Glen
Born in Black and White

What the critics say about "Born in Black and White":

it is an explosion of bluesy colours of all shades.
Frankie Bluesy Pfeiffer - France - April 2006

"A well-produced session from down in the Kent delta......Very listen able
David Lands - Jazz Journal International

"Your CD has been played over and over in my radio show ...classic stuff indeed!"
Vasja Ivanovski - Mojo Blues Skopje, Macedonia -

Great Stuff" - .Steve Jennings. Harmonica World'

" all tracks are beautiflly performed" - Lionel Ross (Blues in Britain)

" a fine CD I will return to it in the weeks ahead" - Paul Jones (Jazz fm)

" great CD. What a wonderful collection of tracks" - Ashwyn Smith (Digital Blues)

" wonderful playing, love it " - Smiggy (Barrys Mag)

" I have added it to my play list" - D J Kruno (VFM Radio, Croatia)

" Lots of interest when I played it, great music" - Kjell Anderson (Radio Holstebro)

" Very,very good indeed" - Paul Jones (Radio Two) 13/11/03

" traditional styles & delivered with swing & feeling" -

 Frankie Bluesy Pfeiffer - The Blues Magizine - France - April 2006

When two leading lights of the UK Blues scene collaborate, one can only speculate at the out come, especially when they are both strong personalities, and very talented. I had my doubts, as the title of the album it talks of black & white, but from the first track there are fireworks, it is an explosion of bluesy colours of all shades.
The combination of the outstanding Alan Glen (harmonica and Guitar) and the remarkable Roger Cotton (Hammond C3, piano and Guitar) really works well. They joined by two fine bass players, swinging Peter Miles on the drums the vocals are handled by Rob King. The duo has written ten of the eleven pieces, which are well produced, you will want listen to over and over.
Listen to the haunting melody of 'On The Waterfront' played by Roger on
Hammond C3, contrasted with the sharp edged guitar solo, but all is smoothness on 'Maxwell Street Mood', and listen to this theme, played with great feeling, with lots of light and shade.
The charm of this album is also in a succession of generous instrumental solos, with all the musicians playing in harmony. This CD is a fine ensemble work, with well crafted tunes, of which I highly recommend 'I Don't Want Your Love', a fabulous slow blues: 4 minutes 52 of pure emotion. I love the others tracks, but I still press the replay key to give more listen to 'I Don't Want Your Love'.

Roger Cotton – Alan Glen

 Born in Black & White – Note Records – NCD 1004-2

 Note : Coup de Cœur (5 CD)

 Lorsque deux grands du Blues made in UK se retrouvent, on peut se demander ce qu’il en sortira, surtout lorsque ce sont deux fortes personnalités, et talentueuses. J’ai un doute, car le titre de l’album parle de noir & blanc, et la couleur de la pochette l’est, en N&B, mais dès le premier titre c’est le feu d’artifice : une explosion bluesy de couleurs et de teintes. Pari gagné pour le grand Alan Glen (harmonica et gratte) et le remarquable Roger Cotton (Hammond C3, piano et six cordes aussi). Entouré de deux bassistes, d’un swinguant Peter Miles aux drums et de Rob King au chant, les deux compères signent dix des onze morceaux de ce superbe produit parfaitement fini, arrondi aux angles, et que vous ré-écouterez en boucle. Ecoutez moi ces longues envolées de Roger au Hamond C3 dans On The Waterfront, ces soli de gratte acérés, mais tout en finesse, comme dans Maxwell Street Mood, et ce jeu d’harmo puissant et aérien à la fois, car le charme de cet album se trouve aussi dans cette alternance incessante de soli, sans qui que ce soit n’allonge la sauce. Du bel ouvrage, du très bel ouvrage, dont je vous recommande I Don’t Want Your Love, un blues lent fabuleux, avec ses 4 minutes 52 d’émotion pure. Sorry pour les autres, mais j’appuie encore sur la touche replay et me remets une nouvelle fois ce I Don’t Want Your Love.

 Frankie Bluesy Pfeiffer



'August 2004 - Jazz Journal International

A well-produced session from down in the Kent delta. It's almost a homage to the music these guys obviously favour - the Chicago blues. What I particularly liked was the inclusion of the organ to beef out the sound and it works well, especially on Jam For T, a driving instrumental with faint echoes of Little Walter's Juke. This is mainly a programme of instrumentals with some nice atmospheric guitar solos from Cotton and wailing harp by Glen. The leaders have paid their dues through the years working with Peter Green's Splinter Group and The Yard birds and have now joined forces for this project of original material. The vocals by Rob King don't intrude enough to spoil the mood of the date. Very listen able.

David Lands

Harmonica World' - April/May 2004

‘Born in Black& White’

This offering was inspired by the small group 50's & 60's recordings released on 'Blue Note' & 'Chess'. From 'Blow Diddley’ to 'Fat Tuesday', Alan Glen excels on both harmonica and guitar. All the material is self written (by Roger & Alan),and I would love to see this particular collection of musicians 'Live'. Great Stuff.

Steve Jennings.


Alan Glen is well known as the harmonica player for the Yardbirds and Nine Below Zero. He also plays in his own band, the Barcodes, Little Axe and with Daniel Smith.

Roger Cotton in a widely experienced blues artiste and a member of Peter Green's Splinter Group. On thin album, they have collaborated an highly accomplished performers and songwriters, jointly writing all but one of the eleven tracks.

Their inspiration for the album stems from the classic recordings by Blue Note and Chess in the '50's and '60s, which in immediately demonstrated on the first track, "Blow Diddley", a harp-led instrumental. "Hard Life" in one of four songs on the album sung by Rob King, whose excellent vocals are particularly noteworthy on the slow and mellow "I Don't Want Your Love".

Seven of the tracks are instrumentals and include the wistful "On The Waterfront", the alum and jazz-tinged "Maxwell Street Mood", "Smitty'n Corner', a medium-paced shuffle, and the jazz/funk "Fat Tuesday".

The album in not designed to grab you by the throat – it's predominant mood is mellow and controlled. But all the tracks are beautifully performed and engender an ideal mood for chilling out end relaxing.

Rating: 8- Lionel Ross

The Rock Machine March 2004

Roger Cotton & Alan Glen

Born In Black And White - Note-Records NCD1004 2

I have had this album for quite awhile now - 8 months, and just recently realised that I'm still playing it quite often, and thought that this, in itself, should justify a review.

The album gets off to a cracking start with a track called "Blow Diddley". Featuring that chunky Bo Diddley beat with some excellent harmonica and guitar from Alan Glen whilst the beat is held down with the Hammond B3 of Roger Cotton.

Track 2 called "Hard Life" has some very haunting words which leaves you feeling very grateful if you haven't been in that situation. Great soulful vocals by Rob King.

It's lighten up time for "Jam For T" track 3, a great swing along track with the albums main rhythm section of Marc Clements, bass and Peter Miles, drums, laying down a strong backdrop for those B3, harmonica and guitar solos. This one just motors along, a lot of fun.

This album was inspired by the classic recordings made by the Blue Note & Chess artists in the 1950's and '60's. I won't spoil your future fun by naming the relevant artists!.

There are eleven tracks on this CD and they are all written by Cotton & Glen with the exception of track 7 "Another Kinda Love", originally written by Alan Glen with the rest of Nine Below Zero and arranged here by Roger Cotton. Rob King's gravely voice does justice to the lyrics.

Rob King's vocal also hits the groove on "Crazy Life" track 5, interspersed with some stabbing guitar licks from Alan.

Track 6 has Pete Stroud on Bass and is a nice slow guitar lead instrumental, followed up with some heavy breathing from the Hammond B3. It's that "Maxwell Street Mood"

Track 4 " On The Waterfront" also has Pete Stroud on Bass and as the title suggests is a nice quiet reflective instrumental. At the time of writing I'm sat in a cottage just a few hundred yards from a river estuary and watching the tide come in and the sun go down. This is what this track is all about - the mood is captured completely.

Another slow relaxing number is track 9 "I Don't Want Your Love" resplendent with Rob's vocals and complimented with the solos of Roger & Alan, especially the haunting harmonica. It's the sort of track that makes you want to turn the lights down…..

You'll probably remember Roger Cotton's work with the "Peter Green's Splinter Group" and may also know he's shared the stage and studio with the likes of James Carr, Larry Garner, Otis Rush, Dr. John and Eric Bibb.

Track 8 "The Purple Cat" is a nice chunky up tempo number.

Alan Glen has been the Harmonica man with The Yardbirds and played with Nine Below Zero, Little Axe and his own band "The Barcodes"

"Smitty's Corner" track 10 is lead along from start to finish by Alan's harmonica and is guaranteed to get your feet tapping.

Harmonica to the fore again for the beginning of "Fat Tuesday" track 11, until a tasty guitar solo from Alan's Gibson 355 precedes one on the B3. Pete Stroud is back on bass for this instrumental album closer.

This project stated out as just being a studio album, but following recent events and a lot of air play on radio stations around the world these class musicians may be able to find a slot in their heavy schedules to put the band on the road. So I you find this outfit passing your way, make the effort to go and get the CD and take some of it home with you.

Paul Stiles The Rock Machine March 2004

Barry’s Mag – Smiggys Tips – Nov 2003

A complimentary review. Yes folks, it can be done! I was sent a copy of 'Born in Black & White' from Note Records (\ Roger Cotton and Alan Glen. Right from the start of the first track Blow Diddley, you know you re in for a fine ride.

Along with Rob King on vocals, Peter Miles on drums and the shared bass credits of Pete Stroud and Marc Clements, the great men prove themselves a pair of experienced greasy old bluesers who can oil their way into songs like a pair of smoothly brylcreamed ferrets, roll and tumble in the burrow and exit with not a whisker out of place.

Listen to the instrumental "On the waterfront" and feel your toes curl with joy; Hammond and guitar digging' in the dirt and finding gold. Throughout the album Alan Glen plays a mean harmonica and Roger plays understated but uncompromisingly razor sharp guitar and keyboards.

Try "Purple Cat" for the best of all three. My only faint nit pick is the songs lyrics, these just ain’t as imaginative and inspired as the playing. Some pretty weary clichés are out to graze and 'Crazy Life's' "I feel strange, I feel odd ', I don't know what it is, it must be something you got" is well …odd.

This aside 'Born in Black & White' is as good as anything happening this side of the pond. Miss it and miss out.


Blues Matters - December 2003

Alan sent me this new release last month and it sees this harp and guitar star linking up with multi-instrumentalist and easy going character Roger Cotton, current Splinter Group keys and occasional guitar man. It’s a little different from other recent works by these guys, Glen having had a recent stint with the mighty Yardbirds of course.

A fat clear recorded sound has been achieved here, at Roundel Studios in Kent – no weedy, might-have-been stuff here. Thus it is that the meaty opener ‘Blow Diddley’ kickstarts this studio set, with a subtle key change here and there and the warm organ (Ooo-er,missus!) tone evoking early Santana that Cotton has in his patternbook of tones. Track 2 sees vocalist Rob King getting involved and a good voice he has, too. Not unlike Huey Lewis, really – in other words very appropriate to this material.

Throughout the record, the musicians’ formative influences are evident, for example ‘Jam For T’ HAS to be as T-Bone Walker nod? Generally Glen’s harp as recorded is akin to the throaty and colourful ‘Mississippi Saxophone’ work that Charlie Musselwhite attained on his recordings with Robben Ford. No bad thing.

Perhaps the best cut here though is ‘On The Waterfront’ (not the song we associate with J L Hooker by the way) which is a moody blues/fusion piece conjuring up a black & white detective film, Barney Kessel inspired guitar et al. ‘Another Kinda Love’ is compositionally a group effort and funnily enough would probably suit the Splinters, though King sings it well here. Roger should run this past Peter Green!

‘The Purple Cat’ is another instrumental with a rolling groove in Walter Horton territory. Marc Clements’ excellent bass undercurrent makes ‘I Don’t Want Your Love’ into desolate late-night stuff, for those into Otis Rush-style laments. And what better than a New Orleans-flavoured instrumental ‘Fat Tuesday’ to finish off?

Perhaps a couple of wild thrashing numbers might have shown the listener what these man can achieve rangewise, however this record gets where it wants to go with style and depth. Don’t let the somewhat undistinguished cover put you off.


Roger Cotton & Alan Glen are two seminal figures in British R&B, they collaborate here with "Born In Black & White", an album inspired by the classic recordings of the '50's & '60's by Chess, Veejay & other labels.

There the classicism ends as all the 11 tracks are Cotton/Glen compositions including a wider collaboration in "Another Kind Of Love". Most ( 7 in 11 ) of the cuts are instrumental pieces in which Glen's harp & Cotton's Hammond predominate over subtle guitar played by both men although it is not detailed in the liner notes exactly who plays each guitar part.

Other contributing musicians are Peter Miles (dr) Pete Stroud & Marc Clements (bass) & Rob King whose vocal talents grace 4 original songs. "Born In Black & White" is evidence that new material, crafted in traditional styles & delivered with swing & feeling will never lose popularity.

Colin Everett