Mike Vax

Bertha the Blues

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During the first half of the '80s, Mike Vax (who is at his best when playing first trumpet with a big band) led a so-so Dixieland band who was more times than not quite corny. This LP had some moments (the best are "Indiana," "Strike Up the Band," and "Hard Hearted Hannah"), but mostly misses the point, substituting flash, chops, and corn for honest feeling. Fortunately the band did not last long, and Mike Vax returned to the bebop-oriented music that he understands and feels much more than trad.

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