After the breakup of Lu Watters's Yerba Buena Jazz Band in late 1950, San Francisco had a lot more talent in the traditional jazz area than it did actual employment. Fortunately a Sunday afternoon concert held Jan. 6, 1952 at the Italian Village night club that featured trombonist Turk Murphy was so successful that the venue became a haven for classic jazz for the next two years. The music, never before released, debuted on this very enjoyable CD. Not only was Murphy reunited with such Watters alumni as pianist Wally Rose and clarinetist Bob Helm but this date was one of the earliest performances of a housewife turned singer Claire Austin who would have a successful career through the rest of the decade. Murphy's septet (with trumpeter Don Kinch) performs a dozen hot jazz selections (four with powerful vocals by Austin in the Bessie Smith tradition) and the CD is rounded out by nine numbers from 1953 featuring a trumpetless quintet with Murphy, Helm and Rose. This very spirted CD is highly recommended for Dixieland fans.
At the Italian Village Review
by Scott Yanow