Wilbur De Paris

Dr. Jazz Series, Vol. 7

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AllMusic Review by

Produced with the consummate quality characteristic of the Storyville Records label, this one boasts excellent digital sound restoration by Jack Towers, more than an hour of playing time, and detailed liner notes by Jack Sohmer. Taken from several live radio broadcasts in the early '50s from the famed New York City 52nd Street club Jimmy Ryan's, these characteristic recordings of Wilbur DeParis and his Rampart Street Ramblers swing with a verve and excitement that belie the discipline and planning which the trombonist demanded of his colleagues. Maintaining a fairly consistent personnel for years, these tracks capture DeParis and his men at the beginning of what was to be an incredible decade-long association with Jimmy Ryan's. With talented clarinetist Omar Simeon soaring above the ensemble and banjoist/guitarist Danny Barker rocking away, the band could easily work up a crowd to a frenzy. Mixing blues, Dixieland favorites, and original pieces by DeParis, the Ramblers delighted audiences with quality musicianship. Although DeParis was better known as a leader than as an improviser, his clean licks and fine placement of notes overcame a decidedly limited range. There are joyous and even rousing versions of "Too Much Mustard (Tres Moutarde)," "Alexander's Ragtime Band," and "Marchin' and Swingin," not to mention a few blues. DeParis may sound dated, but he delivered what he promised with skill and professionalism, and this disc captures his spirit.

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