Here you have two definitive traditional blowing sessions led by chief exponents of the Eddie Condon school of Chicago jazz. Originally issued as Coast Concert, this smart album of old-style standards played by cornetist Bobby Hackett's jazz band blends trombonists Abe Lincoln and Jack Teagarden in a front line spiked with the clarinet of Matty Matlock. The solid rhythm section is anchored by Phil Stephens, who handles both the upright bass and the tuba. This session, recorded in Los Angeles on October 18 and 19, 1955, fairly bristles with upbeat Dixieland struts and stomps. Mr. T executes a pair of superb vocals ("Basin Street Blues," "St. James Infirmary") and the horns savor a couple of cool ones ("New Orleans" and "I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plans"). Hackett and Teagarden's co-led album, originally issued as Jazz Ultimate, was waxed at the Riverside Plaza Hotel in New York City on September 16 and 17, 1957. This band made exceptionally fine music owing to the participation of clarinetist Peanuts Hucko (who also sounds like Bud Freeman when he blows the tenor sax), Ernie Caceres on clarinet and baritone sax, and ace piano man Gene Schroeder. Two takes of a calm and ruminative "55th and Broadway" are particularly fine examples of a strongly steeped blues taken at a leisurely pace. The combination of styles and temperaments makes for an exceptionally fine album of old-fashioned jazz.
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AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf