Acker Bilk

It Looks Like a Big Time Tonight

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Clarinetist Acker Bilk and cornetist Ken Colyer had first played together in the early '50s, so this Stomp Off set was a reunion. The music is essentially New Orleans jazz in the Bunk Johnson/George Lewis tradition, and both Colyer and Bilk are heard in top form in a septet also including trombonist Les Handscombe, pianist Pat Hawes, banjoist Brian Mitchell, bassist Julian Davies, and drummer Pete Lay. Listeners who only associate the clarinetist with his fluke pop hit "Stranger on the Shore" will be surprised at his passionate playing on such numbers as "Down Among the Sheltering Palms," "It Looks Like a Big Time Tonight," and "Mabel's Dream." Highly recommended.