In the detailed liner notes, Jack Sohmers anticipates some of the criticisms to this full-length recording, particularly the dated style of clarinetist Gene Sedric, whom Sohmers admits "seem[s] most out of place here." Nonetheless, and despite the less-than-stellar sound quality (although evidently much improved due to the restoration efforts of Jack Towers), there is outstanding work from both trumpeter and leader Bobby Hackett and trombonist Vic Dickenson, whose style was fully developed by 1952. While some will undoubtedly prefer Hackett's later collaborations with Jack Teagarden, there is no denying the impressive slide and lip work of Dickenson, who later reunited with Hackett for additional recordings (Live at the Roosevelt Grill, Live at the Roosevelt Grill, Vol. 2, and Live at the Roosevelt Grill, Vol. 3 (all Chiaroscuro releases). The Storyville selections actually come from ten different radio broadcasts from Lou Terrasi's club in midtown Manhattan. While the rhythm section changed, the front line remained constant. The tunes are typical of those performed by Hackett at the time: Dixieland favorites ("Saints" and "Original Dixieland One Step"), swing ("Perdido"), and a ballad or two ("There's Danger in Your Eyes, Cherie"). The trumpeter is in fine form; his warm sound, smooth delivery, and upbeat demeanor are all present. Dickenson, too, is near-perfect, his smears, growls, and total control a pleasure. The arrangements are fairly typical for the style of music, with the three horns loose and wild. Dickenson and Hackett fans should be pleased.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Loewy