Ladd's Black Aces

Ladd's Black Aces, Vol. 2

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The second of three LPs by Ladd's Black Aces from the British Fountain label features what was essentially the Original Memphis Five on 16 selections from 1922-1923, when it was one of the top jazz bands on record. With a front line of cornetist Phil Napoleon, trombonist Charles Panelli (other than the first three cuts, which have Miff Mole), and clarinetist Jimmy Lytell backed by pianist Frank Signorelli and drummer Jack Roth, this was a particularly rewarding and (for the time) swinging band. A few so-so vocals along the way by Mandy Lee, "Shufflin' Phil," and Arthur Fields are slight minuses, but otherwise the music still communicates quite well. Highlights include "Sister Kate," "Yankee Doodle Blues," "Aggravatin' Papa," "Runnin' Wild," and "Louisville Lou."

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