Bourbon St. to Broadway

The Dixieland Ramblers

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Bourbon St. to Broadway Review

by Ken Dryden

Dixieland often gets a bad name for two reasons: mediocre players and predictable playing of the usual standards. Fortunately, the Dixieland Ramblers are top-notch musicians who capture the spirit of the group improvisations of the classic bands within the genre, and here they successfully interpret 15 songs by a variety of Broadway composers written for shows spreading several decades. The band includes clarinetist Michael Bennett, trumpeter Kevin Clark, trombonist Harry Watters, pianist Tom McDermott, bassist Jay Goetting, and drummer Richard Taylor. One can almost imagine the smiles on the musicians' faces as they watch Watters kick off "Seventy Six Trombones" with a superb solo before the band joins him for this spirited march. The interplay of the players within "Luck Be a Lady" is amazing, and the treatments of "Cabaret" and "Put on a Happy Face" are perfect for curing any case of the blues. This outing is pure fun from start to finish.

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