Album Reviews

Simply the Best 1

Simply the Best British Jazz From The 1950s

The British trad movement (which roughly covered 1949-63) found freewheeling British bands inspired by New Orleans jazz not only gaining unexpected popularity in the United

Up a Lazy River

Sidney Bechet: Up A Lazy River

Sidney Bechet was not only the first significant soprano-saxophonist in jazz but the most significant one during his lifetime. Arguably one of the two top

Bria Skonberg Nothing Never Happens

Bria Skonberg: Nothing Never Happens

Bria Skonberg, who made her recording debut back in 2002 and has led her Mighty Aphrodite Jazz Band (a fine classic jazz band) since at

David Lukacs Dream City

David Lukács: Dream City

At 41 reedman David Lukács has already been playing the classic jazz circuit internationally for over 20 years. In 1998 he won the Kobe Jazz

Frog and Henry 2019 ii

Frog and Henry 2019ii

A new release from Frog and Henry feels as real and exciting to me as taking home a fresh pile of 78s.  Started as a

Horniblows Hot Three Steppin on the Gas

Horniblow’s Hot 3: Steppin’ on the Gas

David Horniblow, clarinet, Andrew Oliver, piano, Nicholas D. Ball, percussion. If you’ve been reading my reviews for the last few months you’ll know that this

Django a la Creole Live

Django à la Créole Live

What would the music have sounded like if Sidney Bechet and Django Reinhardt (who were both in France in the early 1950s) had recorded together,

The Dime Notes

The Dime Notes (2016 Debut)

The Dime Notes is a young group based in Great Britain although its leader-pianist Andrew Oliver is originally from Oregon. Comprised of Oliver, clarinetist David

Ken Colyer Lonesome Road

Ken Colyer 1957-58 Lonesome Road

Ken Colyer was an important force in British jazz for decades. Inspired by George Lewis and Bunk Johnson, his trumpet playing and his band were

Barnes Bocage Big Five – 1954

Barnes Bocage Big Five – 1954

The names of Peter Bocage and Emilé Barnes are not as well known as those of others who figured more prominently in the New Orleans

Dutch Swing College Band

Vintage Dutch Swing College Band Vol. 2

The Dutch Swing College Band, which was founded by Peter Schilperoort in 1945, is still in existence, having recorded as recently as 2015. The versatile

Steve Lane Plays vintage jazz music

Steve Lane Plays Vintage Jazz Music

The British trad movement of the 1950s and ’60s found dozens of jazz bands popping up throughout England. The music they focused on fell into

Remembering Mike Daniels

Remembering Mike Daniels

The British trad movement of the 1950s and ’60s found dozens of jazz bands popping up throughout England. The music they focused on fell into

Bing Crosby Earliest Recordings

The Earliest Bing Crosby (1926-1930)

Bing Crosby loved New Orleans jazz and Louis Armstrong throughout his long life. He began his career as a jazz-oriented singer and, while modest about

Joanna Morea Crazy People

Joanna Morea – Crazy People

Eastern Europe, and Poland in particular are crazy about jazz. Joanna Morea, a Polish singer and instrumentalist, is publicly recognizable in a way that just

Unheard Artie Shaw 300x300 - The Unheard Artie Shaw

The Unheard Artie Shaw

No, the music on The Unheard Artie Shaw does not contain new recordings by the great clarinetist. Instead, the set released by the Hep label

Southside Aces Santaphone

Southside Aces: Santaphone

The Southside Aces have been serving up hot New Orleans jazz in Minneapolis since the early 2000’s. They were mentored by Charlie Devore and Bill

Peantus Gang Trio Welcome In

The Peanuts Gang Trio: Welcome In

The Peanuts Gang Trio is perfectly situated to play comforting yet titillating festive music. They’ve been together in the Reno Nevada area since 2015, initially

George Lewis On Stage and at Newport

George Lewis On Stage And At Newport

Of all of the New Orleans pioneers who spent the Depression years home in the Crescent City, George Lewis had the greatest commercial success in

Georgians 1922-923

The Georgians 1922-1923

When early pre-1923 jazz recordings are discussed in history books, one encounters the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, sometimes the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, and perhaps

Barnes Bocage Big Five – 1954

Barnes Bocage Big Five – 1954

When the major labels in the 1920s had special recording crews that went to the South and recorded top regional bands, some of the New

Keenan McKenzie Bull City Holiday

Keenan McKenzie A Bull City Holiday

There’s something about Christmas that brings out the best in people. That spirit permeates even when you recreate Christmas in August by shuffling most of

Guillaume Nouaux & the Clarinet Kings

Guillaume Nouaux & the Clarinet Kings

Inspired by a record store find many years ago Guillaume Nouaux has finally brought his most ambitious project to fruition. The inspirational records were two

Michael McQuaid Diaspora

Michael McQuaid: Diaspora

Michael McQuaid is an Australian multi instrumentalist now resident in London and a member of the Vitality Five. His hot jazz chops go back to

Soggy Po Boys All in Favor

Soggy Po’ Boys- All in Favor

With a contemporary New Orleans sound drawing on funk, brass, and even calypso you’d never suspect the Soggy Po’ Boys hailed from Dover, New Hampshire.

Olive Brown Empress of the Blues

Olive Brown Empress of the Blues

If the name Olive Brown doesn’t ring any bells you can forgive yourself. She wasn’t a Golden Age blues singer or even a chanteuse of

George Lewis New Orleans Stompers

George Lewis at the Beginning

Clarinetist George Lewis, who would become one of the most popular of New Orleans jazzmen in the 1950s when he toured the world, was a

Satchmo Musical Autobiography

Satchmo: A Musical Autobiography

did some of his most innovative trumpet playing and singing during the 1925-32 period while continuing to grow in power and depth throughout the 1940s

George Masso with the Galvanized Jazz Band

George Masso with the Galvanized Jazz Band

The Galvanized Jazz Band is in their 48th year of existence, having been formed in 1971. A no-nonsense and hard-driving band that is driven by cornetist

Dixie RB 5

The Dixie RB Five

Led by sousaphonist Roman Bartnicki, the R.B. Five is a quintet that also features trumpeter Dominik Mietla, trombonist Robert Szczerba, Janusz Witko on clarinet, tenor

Champian+Weeds+Dream+a+Little Cover

Champian Fulton & Cory WeedsDream a Little

This is Champian Fulton‘s 11th release, and the fourth we’ve covered since launching in 2016. What’s different about this one is the intimate setting for

California Feetwarmers Gloryland

The California Feetwarmers Gloryland

The California Feetwarmers were recommended to me by no less than Vince Giordano of the Nighthawks and Robin Rapuzzi of Tuba Skinny. I’ve long enjoyed

Jack Teagarden Think Well of Me

Jack Teagarden Think Well Of Me

During the dozen years that Jack Teagarden had left after leaving the Louis Armstrong All-Stars in 1952, the great trombonist and singer mostly played a

Evan Arntzen meets La Section Rythmique

Evan Arntzen Meets La Section Rythmique

Evan Arntzen comes from a very musical family. His grandfather played soprano and clarinet, his father is a pianist, his mother is a singer, and

Tenement Jazz Band New Orleans Wiggle

Tenement Jazz Band: New Orleans Wiggle

When I heard the name Tenement Jazz Band my first thought was “I bet they’re from Scotland”. I was hoping Glasgow, where twenty years ago

Paul and his Gand Live in USA and Canada

Paul and His Gang  Live in USA and Canada

Cornetist Paul Strandberg from Sweden played in the late 1970s and 80s with Scanjazz, the Absalon Orchestra, and the Hot House Jazzmen. Strandberg led Paul

Potato Head Jazz Band Stompin Around

Potato Head Jazz Band Stompin’ Around

Formed in 2003 in Grenada, Spain, the Potato Head Jazz Band has stayed somewhat under the radar—my radar, at least—until now, and that is unfortunate

Jacks Cats The State of Swing

Jack’s Cats The State of Swing

“Listening jazz that just happens to be great for dancing” is the gist of one recommendation I read about Jack’s Cats, a surprising group of

Nat King Cole Jazz Encounters

Nat King Cole’s Jazz Encounters

Nat King Cole’s centennial was March 17, resulting in many tribute albums being released this year. However, good as some of those homages are, none

Three Blind Mice Jazz

Three Blind Mice See How They Run

Highly skilled trios are common enough playing advanced swing or thoughtful chamber jazz and the members of Three Blind Mice are certainly capable of both.

Erik Silk Blues down south

Eric Silk Blues Down South

Banjoist Eric Silk may be somewhat forgotten today but during 1955-58 he and his Southern Jazz Band recorded 32 songs for the British Esquire label;

Revisionists Let me off uptown

The Revisionists Let Me Off Uptown

The Revisionists’ debut album captures a classic vocal swing sound you wouldn’t think possible. Like an early 50s Anita O’Day lp that becomes a house

Vintage Acker Bilk

Vintage Acker Bilk

Clarinetist Acker Bilk (1929-2014) will always be best remembered by the general public for his 1962 hit “Stranger On The Shore” which featured his low-register

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