Various Artists

A Night In New Orleans

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During 1973-80, writer Floyd Levin produced a series under the name of A Night In New Orleans that featured a variety of New Orleans jazz and trad performers, many of whom were veterans. This double-CD has a pair of shows from the Wilshire Ebell Theatre featuring the 1973 and 1974 editions. The former is distantly recorded as if it was being taped from the audience. The New Orleans Society Orchestra performs two charming numbers from the repertoire of Armand Piron's band in the 1920s and features 17-year old trombonist Dan Barrett on "Ory's Creole Trombone" (the high point of the first disc). Pianist Lloyd Glenn romps through two boogie-woogie classics. Clarinetist Barney Bigard sounds fair on three numbers, but the recording quality is erratic. Trombonist Trummy Young (nine years after going into semi-retirement) sounds rusty and past his prime on his three features, and is joined by Bigard on "C-Jam Blues." Finally, the Eagle Brass Band romps wildly on "Just A Little While To Stay Here", and on an overlong "Saints"; it must have been fun to see them live. The 1974 concert is better recorded and features more rewarding music overall. The New Orleans Society Orchestra returns for "Black And White Rag." Clarinetist Sammy Rimington is superb on a version of "High Society" on which he is backed by banjo and bass. Trumpeter-singer Wingy Manone, who had not recorded since 1966, is nostalgic and sounds excellent on two numbers: "Creole Love Call" features the clarinets of Bigard, and Joe Darensbourg and the Louisiana Shakers Band sound fine on "Caravan." This set concludes with four numbers from Barry Martyn's Legends Of Jazz, including an excellent version of "Chinatown, My Chinatown." New Orleans jazz fans will be interested in this historic and generally enjoyable two-fer.

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