Bunk Johnson / Lu Watters

Bunk & Lu

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Included on this historic CD are two rather significant sessions. Lu Watters' Yerba Buena Jazz Band was a major force in launching the Dixieland revival, and their first eight recordings, from their initial session, lead off the disc. Featured are trumpeters Lu Watters and Bob Scobey, trombonist Turk Murphy and clarinetist Ellis Horne on such numbers as "Irish Black Bottom," "Maple Leaf Rag" and "Muskrat Ramble"; pianist Wally Rose's feature on "Black & White Rag" helped start a mini ragtime revival. The second half of the CD has one of legendary trumpeter Bunk Johnson's finest recordings. He is heard leading the wartime version of the Yerba Buena band (which still included Murphy and Horne, in addition to pianist Burt Bales), and Bunk rarely sounded stronger; he is also perfectly in tune for a change. Sister Lottie Peavey takes a fair number of gospel-oriented vocals; Clancy Hayes sings definitive versions of "Ace In the Hole" and "219 Blues," and Johnson himself vocalizes on "Down By the Riverside." But it is for Bunk's trumpet that the latter part of the CD is most notable.

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