Affordably priced and richly endowed with excellent old-fashioned music, Charly's New Orleans: The Cradle of Jazz covers a timeline from 1917 to 1946; its 48 selections document the evolution of this tradition most effectively by mingling the well-known legends -- King Oliver, Freddie Keppard, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Johnny Dodds, Lovie Austin, Jimmie Noone, Bunk Johnson, the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, and the New Orleans Rhythm Kings -- with a host of vitally important yet less familiar and therefore largely underappreciated artists. These include Ollie Powers, Armand J. Piron, Johnny De Droit, Louis Dumaine, Johnny Bayersdorffer, the New Orleans Owls and the Halfway House Orchestra. Although most of the early New Orleans musicians went north and settled in Chicago, Kid Ory's "Ory's Creole Trombone" was recorded in far-off Los Angeles while Clarence Williams set up his music publishing business in New York City, where he supervised recording sessions involving Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet. Most of the artists heard on this compilation were Afro-American; exceptions include Italian-American clarinetist Tony Parenti, reedman Eddie Miller, and one-armed trumpeter Wingy Manone, who appears under the heading of "Barbecue Joe and His Hot Dogs". The one serious flaw is the inexplicable absence of cornetist Bix Beiderbecke. This gap would be less perplexing had the producers not thrown in a cut by Dixie Revivalist Bob Crosby and His Bobcats. Bix was the great link between the New Orleans Rhythm Kings and the entire Chicago-based school of New Orleans-inspired jazz, without which Bob Crosby (a native of Spokane, WA) wouldn't have had much to go on. Even taking into account this puzzling incongruity, there's no disputing the relevance, importance or usefulness of this otherwise excellent compilation.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2