Claude Hopkins

Sophisticated Swing

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Veteran swing pianist Claude Hopkins is given top billing on this LP, which has music from two concerts from the 1974 Manassas Jazz Festival. Hopkins does have some good solos along the way, but in reality he is just one of the players. Six of the ten selections have Hopkins in a septet with cornetist Tom Saunders, clarinetist Tommy Gwaltney, and trombonist Bill Allred. Two songs have vocals for Natalie Lamb (with Wild Bill Davison or Bill Barnes on trumpet), while the other two are more primitive, with Stan McDonald on soprano or clarinet and cornetist Tony Pringle and other members of the Black Eagle Jazz Band joining on "Weary Blues." The music is mostly Dixieland-ish, with Hopkins taking some fine stride solos on "Nobody's Sweetheart Now," "Deed I Do," and "I Would Do Most Anything for You."

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