Bunk Johnson

Last Testament of a Great Jazzman

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Venerable New Orleans jazz legend Bunk Johnson teamed with a group of mostly swing era veterans in the mid- and late '40s for several controversial albums. Rather than cutting strictly traditional material, Johnson's band blended rags, spirituals, blues, and swing in with some traditional numbers. The music was largely successful, but the band didn't attract a wide enough audience to make it fiscally worthwhile. The 14 cuts on this CD reissue were done in 1947, the band's final year, and originally released on Columbia. Johnson, clarinetist Garvin Bushnell, trombonist Eddie Cuffee, guitarist Danny Barker, bassist Wellman Braud, and drummer Alphonse Steele meshed and played with fire, precision, and fervor.

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