Turk Murphy

Dancing Jazz

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The fourth of Turk Murphy's six Columbia LPs (none of which have yet been reissued on CD) finds his band in its early prime. At the time, the personnel consisted of the leader's trombone, trumpeter Everett Farey, clarinetist Bob Helm, pianist Wally Rose, bassist Al Lyon and Bob Short on tuba or cornet; Bob Thompson helps out on washboard during two of the numbers. Despite the title, which makes it sound like a commercial date, the music is actually typical freewheeling San Francisco Dixieland. Six songs have "musician vocals" by Murphy and/or Helm that add spirit, if not much musicality, to the performances. The highlights of the joyous set include "Hard Hearted Hannah," "Sunset Café Stomp," "Red Hot Mama" and "Oriental Strut." Worth searching for by Dixieland fans.