On Creole Nocturne, pianist Tom McDermott and cornetist Connie Jones offer an intimate trip back in time when jazz was still connected to the blues. The title is a nifty twist on Chopin's E-Flat Nocturne, re-imagined here as New Orleans jazz. Even though returning to New Orleans jazz strikes a traditional chord, cornet-piano duets are hardly the norm, and Creole Nocturne thus offers a twist on both the original style and McDermott and Jones' contemporary interpretation of it. The material is a mix of McDermott originals and a handful of classic tunes, and, despite the distance in time between "When It's Sleepy Time Down South" and "Danza de las Muñecas" (The Wrist Dance), the material melds together well. The pianist and cornetist also have a knack for pulling in material like Louis Moreau Gottschalk's "Danza," a piece that may have more to do with the roots of jazz than jazz itself. The inclusion of such pieces along with Jelly Roll Morton's "King Porter Stomp" creates an expansive set list. The duo only varies the program on two tracks, Spencer Williams' "Tishomingo Blues" and McDermott's "I Don't Want Nuthin' for Christmas," both which feature vocals by McDermott. McDermott and Jones offer sensitive supportive backing along with imaginative solo work, making Creole Nocturne a rich, varied recording, filled with lively performances.
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AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.