Albert Nicholas

Albert Nicholas-Mezz Mezzrow

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This out-of-print LP from the 1950s has separate sessions led in Paris by expatriate clarinetists (both of whom are heard in two-clarinet septets). Albert Nicholas, a superior New Orleans stylist, performs five numbers with Andre Reweliotty's Orchestra, and these are highlighted by a surprisingly exciting version of "Moonglow," "Sensation" and "Confessin'." The erratic clarinetist Mezz Mezzrow is heard sitting in with Claude Luter's band, and the results in their ensemble-oriented set include a jubilant rendition of "Jingle Bells," "Blues As We Like 'Em" and "Christopher's Rockin'" (which is really "Christopher Columbus"); trumpeter Guy Longnon and clarinetist Luter are major assets. The song listing in the liner notes is partly incorrect, but the one on the album itself is accurate. Dixieland fans should pick this album up if they are lucky enough to run across it, for the music is quite enjoyable and full of spirit.