Barney Bigard is one of the great jazz clarinetists. Although most famous for playing in Duke Ellington's band, Bigard performed with a host of lesser bandleaders, giving a series of distinctive, lyrical performances with each. 1944 collects Bigard's performances with the Capitol International Jazzmen, Zutty Singleton's bands, and his time with Roger Kay. Although not as consistently revelatory as his playing with the Duke, these sessions show Bigard to be a master of his instrument, displaying fabulous technique and great lyricism throughout. The Classics label has done a fine job at remastering, and the excellent liner notes round off a nice package.
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AllMusic Review by Thomas Ward