Legends of Jazz

The Legends of Jazz

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In the early '70s, English drummer Barry Martyn (who was then 32) gathered together a sextet comprised of New Orleans jazz veterans, billed them as "The Legends of Jazz," and took them on several tours. This LP, the first release by the Crescent Jazz Productions label, contains some good playing from trumpeter Andrew Blakeney, trombonist Louis Nelson, and clarinetist Joe Darensbourg; the rhythm section (comprised of pianist Alton Purnell, Martyn, and the 88-year-old bassist Edward "Montudi" Garland) also works together quite well. Although the band plays a couple of warhorses, there is also some lesser-known material on the set (including Mike Delay's "Conti Street Parade" and A.J. Piron's "Red Man Blues"), and, overall, this joyful album is much better than expected.