Fat Cat McRee loved Dixieland and recorded lots of it during the Manassas Jazz Festival and various jam sessions during his operation of Fat Cat's Jazz, which he operated from the 1960s to the early 1990s. This compilation of live music recorded in the fall of 1975 features McRee as the vocalist on four of the eight tracks; he is an adequate singer who seems to enjoy himself and then quickly steps back to let the instrumentalists have their turn. The musicians include cornetist Ernie Carson, pianist Don Ewell, and clarinetist Jack Maheu, all of whom have extensive credentials and don't disappoint. While trombonist Mark Lamphier may not be as well-known, he turns in a solid performance as well. The rhythm section is anchored by veteran bassist Keter Betts. While there are no real surprises anywhere on this long-unavailable LP, it is an enjoyable example of Dixieland in a live setting.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden