Big Bill Bissonnette

International Jazz Band 1997 2nd Half

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The second of two CDs taken from a 1997 concert features British and American trad players in a hot New Orleans-style octet. Spirit, drive, and personality are emphasized over strict intonation with a definite charm being part of the music, along with a certain amount of recklessness. Fred Vigorito's cornet is pretty close at times to the primitive Kid Thomas Valentine, while the two saxophonists are stompers and trombonist Big Bill Bissonnette is a percussive player. "Saxawoogie" (featuring the two saxes), a lengthy "Somebody Stole My Gal," and "Tiger Rag" are the romping high points, while this version of "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" is touching. Fans of hard-charging New Orleans jazz will enjoy this outing, along with the "1st Half."