Freddie Lonzo

Ready for Freddie

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This release from Big Bill Bissonnette's Jazz Crusade label features the two-man front line of Freddy Lonzo on trombone and Brian Carrick on clarinet. Although too much is made of differences in playing styles, Lonzo has a long history in New Orleans working with just about every sub-style of Crescent City jazz music imaginable, from brass to marching bands, from all-star groups to working with Wynton Marsalis. Carrick, on the other hand, has been associated with more traditional New Orleans music. But both are excellent musicians and show on this release that they can adapt to just about any classic jazz style. The contrasting timbre of each of the main protagonists' instruments makes for a captivating listening experience. Carrick's George Lewis-like clarinet excels with its purity of tone while Lonzo's rough and ready trombone borders on gutbucket, especially on such cuts as "Tiger Rag" (worth the price of admission by itself), and has Jack Teagarden/Sam Nanton overtones on "I'm Alone Because I Love You." The two main contenders are backed by a rhythm section, three of whom have been regular visitors to Jazz Crusade recording studios. Drummer Doc Houlind, a veteran of Papa Bue's Viking Jazz Band, seems to be the only possible newcomer. Each of them contributes with confidence and vigor, with pianist Reide Kaiser's piano being the glue that holds things together, at least to the extent that such a feat can be expected on this energetic and exuberant session. This is another gem from Jazz Crusade and is a must-have for lovers of the music which falls into that large stylist category called New Orleans jazz.