Brian White

C'est MAGNAfique

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Clarinetist Brian White has led the Magna Jazz Band in his native England since 1954, but his group has made surprisingly few recordings through the years. The 1992 version of the Magna Jazz Band (as heard on this CD) is a strong Dixieland-oriented unit. White, a fluid clarinetist, is excellent in ensembles; cornetist Ben Cohen's clipped phrasing recalls the more ancient New Orleans trumpeters, but his choice of notes is influenced by Louis Armstrong; and trombonist Geoff Cole looks toward Kid Ory some of the time but overall simply sounds like himself. The emphasis throughout this CD is on obscurities, with just a few standards tossed in. Highlights include "Chicago Buzz," and a pair of Sidney Bechet's best originals from the 1950s (the exuberant "The Fishseller" and "Dens Les Rues D'Antibes"), Duke Ellington's "Misty Morning," "Strut Miss Lizzie," and "No One Else But You." A Dixieland version of the title cut (a Cole Porter song from the show Can Can) wraps up the enjoyable effort.

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