Al Hirt

Al Hirt in New Orleans

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Trumpeter Al Hirt's first record as a leader is strictly Dixieland. Hirt was at his best in the mid- to late 1950s before making some very commercial dates. His band of the time (with clarinetist Harry Shields, either Bob Havens or Buddy Castigliola on trombone, pianist Roy Zimmerman, guitarist Joe Capraro, bassist Phil Darois and drummer Paul Edwards) was solid and swinging, while the trumpeter showed off just enough of his technique to make a strong impression. Among the highlights of this excellent LP are "After You've Gone," "Floatin' Down to Cotton Town," "Toot Toot Tootsie Goodbye" and "While We Danced at the Mardi Gras."