Dukes of Dixieland

Curtain Going Up

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Although this LP does not give much information (not even the complete personnel), it is quite valuable because it contains the debut recording of the Dukes of Dixieland. Predating their many Audiofidelity dates, the outing features the sextet (which consists of trumpeter Frank Assunto, trombonist Fred Assunto, clarinetist Bill Shea, pianist Stan Mendelsohn, bassist Chink Martin and either Buck Rogers or Roger Johnson on drums with Betty Owens taking a couple vocals) in excellent form on five standards, "Duke's Stomp," "Wailin' Blues" and "Sampson's Delight." The music is played with plenty of spirit; there are some surprising moments, and this is a highly enjoyable (if obscure) outing that officially launched the soon-to-be-popular band.