Bob Haggart

A Portrait of Bix

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This is a well-planned set featuring ten songs associated with legendary cornetist Bix Beiderbecke; in addition, a brief rendition of his "In a Mist" is played as both an intro to the date and as a coda. Tom Pletcher was the perfect choice to play cornet, since he has always sounded a lot like Beiderbecke. Other musicians on the date include Ron Hockett on clarinet and (in a tribute to Frankie Trumbauer) C-melody sax, Jack Howe on tenor, bass saxophonist Spencer Clark, pianist Mike Katz, drummer Doug James, and Haggart. They mostly avoided the tunes that had Beiderbecke's best-known solos in favor of tunes that he soloed on but are flexible enough to be jammed, including "Dardanella," "Clementine," "There'll Come a Time," and "Somebody Stole My Gal." Highly enjoyable music that is long overdue to be reissued on CD.

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