Armand Hug

Dixieland from the Southland

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This Dixieland LP features pianist Armand Hug heading a mostly all-star group of New Orleans-based musicians on one day in 1959, giving one a good idea what the New Orleans jazz scene sounded like at that point in time. Hug is joined by Mike Lala and either Thomas Jefferson or Tommy Gonsoulin on trumpets, trombonist Bill Chais, clarinetist Pinky Vidacovich, banjoist Joe Capraro, Emile Christian or Sherwood Mangiapane on bass and drummer Monk Hazel. The trumpet players are in particularly spirited form; clarinetist Vidacovich is so strong that one wonders why he is so obscure, and the rhythm section is solid. All of the musicians play in tune and with plenty of enthusiasm, and there is also one effective vocal apiece by Thomas Jefferson, Sherwood Mangiapane and Helen Keating. The repertoire is pretty fresh, as only three of the eight tunes would be considered Dixieland standards; the ensembles are exciting, and overall, this is a very enjoyable effort. Well worth searching for by trad jazz collectors.