Jim Cullum Sr.

Jazz: The Music of Jim Cullum, Sr.

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This double LP has the last recordings of clarinetist Jim Cullum, Sr., who was still playing in prime form, although he had already contracted lung cancer. Cullum leads his Happy Jazz Band, which also includes his talented son Jim Cullum, Jr. on cornet (who sometimes sounds a bit like Bobby Hackett on these numbers), both Mark Hess and Gene McKinney on trombones, pianist Cliff Gillette, rhythm guitarist Curly Williams, bassist George Pryor and several alternating drummers. Although there are some loose moments and a bit of audience noise, there are also plenty of heated performances ("Milenberg Joys" and "Papa Dip" are among the highlights) and a couple of guest appearances by tenor saxophonist Eddie Miller. After a lengthy, humorous and somewhat heartwarming verbal introduction by Jim Cullum, Sr., members of the World's Greatest Jazz Band (trumpeter Yank Lawson, tenor saxophonist Bud Freeman, pianist Ralph Sutton and bassist Bob Haggart) sit in with Cullum's group on a spirited "Royal Garden Blues." A perfect ending to a very musical life.