Various Artists

Live at Town Hall

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This gathering of traditional jazz greats occurred in 1944 at Town Hall in New York City, when Eddie Condon assembled a roster that included Pee Wee Russell, Hot Lips Page, Miff Mole, Bobby Hackett, Billy Butterfield, and Edmond Hall, among others. The results are incredible; here's one set that doesn't have anyone coasting, offering stock cliches, or substituting mugging and banter for substance and depth. Russell, Hackett, and Hall are brilliant, while the rhythm section contributors like pianist Joe Bushkin and bassist Pops Foster are just as aggressive and exciting in their contributions.