Various Artists

Al Rose Presents Journeys Into Jazz

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Al Rose was a New Orleans historian who presented special concerts for 30 years. This was to be the final one for he felt that the type of music that he most enjoyed was practically extinct. The musicians on the CD reissue (cornetist Johnny Wiggs, clarinetist Harry Shields, trombonist Emile Christian, pianist Jeannette Kimball, banjoist Danny Barker, bassist Chester Zardis and drummer Louis Barbarin) do sound a bit tired although (other than Christian who would probably not play trombone again) none were quite finished and several (Wiggs, Barker and Zardis) had a way to go. Danny Barker has two vocals (including a sing-along with the audience on "Eh La Bas") and his wife, Blue Lu Barker, sings four songs. But even the potentially hot instrumentals (such as At the Jazz Band Ball," "Clarinet Marmalade" and "Muskrat Ramble") are given fairly routine treatment. Despite Rose's enthusiastic announcements and the favorable reaction of the audience at Southern Illinois University during this concert, inspiration was clearly lacking.