Butch Thompson

Direct from the Ballroom of the Shattuck Hotel

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Pianist Butch Thompson meets up with a variety of top players (many from Northern California) on this loose but coherent live session. The music is mostly comprised of underplayed standards from the 1920s and '30s (including "Mandy, Make Up Your Mind," "I'm Checkin' Out Goombye" and "You're Lucky to Me") plus a few original blues. The personnel often changes from song-to-song and the talented players include the extroverted cornetist Leon Oakley, Richard Hadlock on soprano and alto, trombonist Bob Mielke, Thompson on both piano and clarinet, Ray Skjelbred also on piano (he takes his own "Clark and Addison" as a solo feature and takes part in a piano duet with Thompson on "Wonderful Life Blues"), bassist Mike Duffy and drummer Hal Smith; Barbara Lashley helps out with a couple of vocals. Other highlights are "A Monday Date" (which features Thompson's piano with a trio), "Blue Reed Blues," "A Shine on Your Shoes" and "Song of the Wanderer." Easily recommended to classic jazz and Dixieland fans.