Album Reviews

Fat Babies Jazz Uptown

The Fat Babies – Uptown

The mere announcement of a new Fat Babies album should inspire most readers of The Syncopated Times to run out and buy it. They are

Bratislava Hot Serenaders Lonely Melody

The Bratislava Hot Serenaders

I haven’t been this excited about discovering a new band in a long time. I mean T-shirts and bumper stickers excited. Part of my interest

Clancy Hayes Private Collection 39-72

Clancy Hayes Private Collection 1939-72

Clancy Hayes was a unique figure in jazz history, one of its first singer/songwriters and an underrated and versatile musician. He was part of the

Red Nichols_The Red Heads

Red Nichols’ Red Heads 1925-27

While the classic Red Nichols and his Five Pennies sessions are in the Brunswick series, Nichols was so prolific during the 1920s that there is

Funkrust Brass Band Bones and Burning

Funkrust Brass Band: Bones and Burning

The Funkrust Brass Band is a 20-piece “post-apocalyptic disco-punk brass band playing all original music with megaphone vocals, heavy tuba bass lines, thundering percussion and

Russell Welch Acetate Sessions

Russell Welch – Acetate Sessions

Russell Welch is a name that comes up again and again as I explore the new crop of New Orleans musicians. I’m delighted to cover

Grey Gull Rarities

Grey Gull Rarities

When one listens to the 27 selections on Grey Gull Rarities, it is easy to conclude that Grey Gull was one of the top jazz

West Coast Jazz 1922-27

West Coast Jazz 1922-27

The Jazz Oracle label can always be depended upon to reissue and repackage excellent hot jazz from the 1920s. Quite a few New Orleans jazz

Selfie tim mcinnes

Selfie by Tim McInnes

At 62 Tim McInnes felt pursuing his musical ambitions had become now or never. He revisited his childhood Schaum method piano training and began to

Stompin Lickers Barely Covered

Barely Covered by The Stompin’ Lickers

Have you noticed Hollywood counts on European actors when they need a pitch perfect American accent? Christiane Beinl, who leads Vienna’s Stompin’ Lickers hones in

Richmond Rarities

Richmond Rarities

The Jazz Oracle label, which was recently purchased by Upbeat, has a very valuable catalog of 1920s jazz that fortunately Upbeat is making widely available.

Swingsations still swingin

The Swingsations are Still Swingin’

The Swingsations, a quintet based in Southern California, was founded in 1995 by its leader trumpeter-singer Jim Ziegler. The group originally consisted of Ziegler, Phil

86 years of Eubie Blake

The Eighty-Six Years Of Eubie Blake

Eubie Blake had such a unique career that he fits into his own musical category. A near-contemporary of Scott Joplin, Blake was a ragtime composer

George Lewis & Alton Purnell

George Lewis & Alton Purnell

Throughout his career, clarinetist George Lewis was a bit of a chameleon. His sound and New Orleans jazz style were virtually unchanged from the time

Phil Napoleon That's a Plenty

Phil Napoleon: That’s A Plenty

Phil Napoleon was one of the important jazz pioneers. The trumpeter was among the very first musicians based in New York who knew how to

The Missourians and Cab Calloway

Cab Calloway & The Missourians 1929-30

One of the hottest bands of the late 1920s was the Missourians. The nine-piece group, which had earlier been Andy Preer’s Cotton Club Orchestra and

Sister Rosetta Tharpe Sensational

The Sensational Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Having recorded with various jazz bands and orchestras over the years, Sister Rosetta Tharpe was well-known to jazz fans. In addition to her appearances with

Come Dance Reinhardt Swing

Come Dance by Reinhardt Swing

It seems only natural that someone with the name of Eliot Reinhardt Kenin would someday grow up to be a swing guitarist. The leader of

Bums at Fagans

Ralph Grugel: The Bums at Fagan’s

The Bums at Fagan’s has been reissued in tribute to the namesake of Toledo’s annual GrugelFest, Ralph Grugel, who is credited with bringing the Dixieland

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 768x767 - 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

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