Randy Sandke's 1993 concert tribute to the legendary cornetist Bix Beiderbecke is classic jazz at its best, not just mere note for note re-creations, but capturing the spirit of the original recordings. Surrounding himself with some of the best players of the last decade of the 20th century, including clarinetist Ken Peplowski, trombonist Dan Barrett, multi-reed player Scott Robinson, and the dependable (and often zany) guitarist Marty Grosz, the trumpeter and his band have the Hamburg audience in their palms from the opening track, a spirited take of "Fidgety Feet." The solos are at a consistently high level, with no one player threatening to dominate the proceedings; even Grosz, who can be an overbearing showboat in a live setting, keeps his unaccompanied vocal rendition of "Changes" somewhat restrained, showcasing his skills as an acoustic guitarist as well. One of the small group highlights features Peplowski and pianist Mark Shane in a rousing rendition of "China Boy." Highly recommended.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden