Billy Maxted

Bourbon St. Billy And The Blues

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During 1955-1964, pianist Billy Maxted led a small group that was quite flexible, particularly after Johnny Dengler joined up in 1958. The band (four horns, including Dengler on bass sax, tuba, and cornet) and three rhythm performed Maxted's arrangements, which left room for spontaneous playing and gave the ensemble a sound similar to Bob Crosby's Bobcats at times. With Chuck Forsyth contributing some hot trumpet solos and Dan Tracey being quite fluent on clarinet, the band uplifts such numbers as "Bourbon Street Parade," "Tin Roof Blues," and "Tailgate Ramble" on this set, really digging into Maxted's reworking of "The Saints," which he retitled "Parade of the Saints." This LP (none of Maxted's recordings have been reissued on CD yet) is one of the pianist/arranger's strongest efforts, and is easily recommended to open-minded trad collectors.

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