Bunk Johnson

Bunk Johnson 1944-1945

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This CD, which does not duplicate any of the performances out on other American Music releases, has some of the selections that trumpeter Bunk Johnson and his sextet recorded during five sessions in August and May of 1944 and May of 1945. In general, Bunk, who could be quite erratic, was better than his group (clarinetist George Lewis, trombonist Jim Robinson, banjoist Lawrence Marrero, bassist Alcide Pavageau and drummer Baby Dodds) and one can understand his impatience with the players. Lewis is not always in-tune, and Dodds' colorful playing can be distracting. However, the band's joyful ensembles are quite appealing and this melodic music will be difficult for New Orleans revival fans to resist. Among the hotter numbers (which include two vocals by Ed "Noon" Johnson and one from Myrtle Jones) are "Milneberg Joys," "Shine," "Lady Be Good," "The Sheik of Araby" and "Willie the Weeper."

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