Louis Cottrell, Jr.

Bourbon Street Parade

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When the Riverside label undertook a series of recordings of some of the living legends of New Orleans, one who was asked to contribute his talents was Louis Cottrell, Jr. Cottrell certainly filled that bill. An important figure in the history of traditional jazz in New Orleans, he was a virtuoso on both the clarinet and tenor saxophone, playing with the top players of his day, including his mentor, clarinet player Lorenzo Tio, Jr., and drummer Paul Barbarin. For the occasion of this record, Cottrell engaged the assistance of Emanuel Sayles on banjo and guitar and McNeal Breaux on bass (Alcide Pavageau plays bass on one track). Together, they weave a fine tapestry of jazz from the New Orleans Creole tradition. The results are simply elegant. The album opens with the beautiful "Perdido," and gets lively with a Barbarin street march, "Bourbon Street Parade." It segues through some delightful blues and standards, such as "Sayles' Broken String Blues" and "Sheik of Araby." The group plays traditional gospel with feeling, including "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" and the bonus track "Down by the Riverside." It closes out with another bonus track, Cottrell's own "You Don't Love Me." The record is enchanting, like a memory of a long-ago love affair in this city of romance and seduction. [This review refers to the 1994 Riverside reissue, New Orleans: The Living Legends, which features the two aforementioned bonus tracks.]

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