Legends of Jazz

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Formed and led by drummer Barry Martyn, this New Orleans jazz band featured a variety of ancient players on occasional tours and recordings. The title of their 1978 show (1000 Years of Jazz) was not much…
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Formed and led by drummer Barry Martyn, this New Orleans jazz band featured a variety of ancient players on occasional tours and recordings. The title of their 1978 show (1000 Years of Jazz) was not much of an exaggeration. With trumpeter Andrew Blakeney, trombonist Louis Nelson, clarinetist Joe Darensbourg, pianist Alton Purnell, bassist Ed Garland, and Martyn forming the original sextet, the Legends recorded two albums for the Crescent Jazz label during 1973-1974; the relative youngster Barney Bigard was a guest on the second date. The personnel in future years included trombonist Clyde Bernhardt and bassist Chester Zardis, along with lesser-known players, and the erratic but spirited group had successful tours of South America and Australia before fading out in the late '80s.