THE RADICAL SOUNDS OF TRAD! The Jim Cullum Happy Jazz Band: The Music of Jelly Roll Morton; Bob Wilbur, Dave McKenna & ‘Pug’ Horton Quintet: Live From London

Nothing shows that wild side of jazz like the traditional and swing sounds of the early years ranging from The Golden Age to The Depression. Has jazz ever been as influential since? What does that tell you about the music then and now? Here are a couple albums to show what this music can do for you.

Cornetist Jim Cullum Jr leads a team of Allan Vache/cl, mark Hess/tb, Cliff Gillette/p, Buddy Apfel/tuba, Buddy Black/banjo and Kevin Hess/dr through the songbook of the disputed creator of jazz, Jelly Roll Morton. The band is peppy and vibrant as Cullum is crystal clear on two steppers like “The Chant” and “Milenburg Joys.” Vache’s clarinet wonderfully slithers on “Sweet Substitute” and the happy “Shreveport stomp” and Hess’ trombone slides and growls on “Buddy Bolden’s Blues.” The songs exude warmth and energy, with lots of vintage polyphonic sounds going back and forth. Wonderfully timeless sounds.

One of the true giants of vintage jazz and a student of Sidney Bechet, Bob Wilbur is captured in glorious form with all star Dave McKenna/p  and vocalist ‘Pug’ Horton along with Ron Rubin/b and Derek Hogg/dr during a string of shows in London’s Pizza Express jazz club. The band is in a fun-filled mood, with the rhythm team chugging like a locomotive on “144 West 54th St.” and “Indiana.” On clarinet, Wilbur is woody and warm on “I’m Nobody’s Baby” and “Everywhere You Go” while on the brighter soprano sax makes some wonderful wailing on “All Of Me” and “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.” McKenna gets the spotlight with some ten digit delights on “The Very Thought Of You” and “Exactly Like You” and Horton lassos in “Rose of the Rio Grande” like Annie Oakley. The toes are tapping and the joint jumps for the entire two discs. This is why you wanna fall in love with jazz!

Inner City Jazz



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