Kid Thomas Valentine Band

The Thomas Band at Moose Hall: 1968, Vol. 2

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This is the second volume of a live performance by Kid Thomas Valentine and his band at Moose Hall. A tape was made of the proceedings, but languished in the vaults of the Connecticut Jazz Club for more than 32 years. Thomas was a native of New Orleans and started playing in the streets of the Crescent City at the age of ten. At 72 in this performance, Thomas has been thoroughly soaked with more than 60 years of playing New Orleans traditional jazz and every note that comes from him and his fellow musicians reflects that noble tradition. Along with Thomas is trombonist Louis Nelson and tenor saxman Manny Paul, who have both been associated with Thomas since 1944 and 1942, respectively. Although Nelson was an unabashed admirer of Tommy Dorsey, he doesn't let it get in the way of his tailgate tromboning on such cuts as "Oh! Lady Be Good" and especially on one of the staples of this musical style, "Sweet Georgia Brown." Paul is reminiscent of the role the sax had in early New Orleans music. His work is particularly prominent on a rather slow-paced, off-center "In the Mood." Despite his age, Thomas holds his own, although on this volume he relinquishes a good deal of the solo time to the other members of the band. Joseph "Twat" Butler not only lays down the rhythmic floor, but has a lot of fun vocalizing on "Down by the Riverside." Even though the musical agenda was made up of long-standing staples in the traditional jazz book, judging from their reaction, the audience was pleased to hear them one more time, even though the playing got a bit ragged toward the end. The sound is remarkably good given the length of time these original tapes laid unattended. Recommended.

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