Some of Bunk Johnson's most exciting performances were recorded when he returned to New York in the fall of 1945. Most of the 15 selections on this LP (some of which have since been reissued on CD) were originally cut for Victor. The veteran trumpeter, who had suddenly become a major name, is featured with clarinetist George Lewis, trombonist Jim Robinson, pianist Alton Purnell, banjoist Lawrence Marrero, bassist Alcide Pavageau and drummer Baby Dodds on a variety of Dixieland standards. Highlights of the very enjoyable release, which features Bunk in prime form, include "You Always Hurt the One You Love," "Sister Kate," "Darktown Strutter's Ball" and a definitive version of "When the Saints Go Marching In."
Bunk Johnson, Vol. 1 (New York 1945-1946/The Complete Deccas, Victors & V-Discs) Review
by Scott Yanow