Trombonist Wilbur DeParis started leading his New New Orleans Jazz Band at the beginning of the 1950s, and during that decade, the always-colorful group recorded regularly for the Atlantic label; unfortunately, all of their studio recordings are long out of print. DeParis' ensemble featured his brother (the talented trumpeter Sidney DeParis), the great clarinetist Omer Simeon, and a rhythm section that usually included pianist Sonny White. The band's repertoire reflected the leader's eclectic taste, featuring jazz standards, complete obscurities, occasional marches and rags, and a few pop tunes. This particular Jazz Crusade CD (which came out in 1997) is valuable because it contains music from a previously unreleased concert from Stratford, Ontario. The 1956 version of the band (with both DeParis brothers, Simeon, White, banjoist Lee Blair, bassist Leonard Gaskin, and drummer Wilbert Kirk) is heard first on four numbers including a tuba feature for Sidney DeParis ("Hot Lips"), a remake of Jelly Roll Morton's "Shreveport Stomp" (which in 1928 had also featured Omer Simeon), and "Marching & Swinging." Willie "The Lion" Smith is showcased on a pair of piano solos ("Maori" and "Zig Zag"), Blair is put in the spotlight for "Mighty Like a Rose," and singer Jimmy Rushing is joined by the full band on well-received versions of "Goin' to Chicago" and "I Want a Little Girl." Of the three remaining numbers from this gig, "March of the Charcoal Greys" and "When the Saints Go Marching In" are, unfortunately, incomplete. To fill out the CD, there are also three numbers taken from the Doctor Jazz radio shows of 1952 which feature a different rhythm section. Since the Canadian concert retains the spoken introductions of DeParis and Willie "The Lion" Smith (and these get rather repetitive), it is advised that, from the second play on, listeners program their CD players to skip the brief talks. A highly recommended CD, Big Bill Bissonnette correctly states in his liner notes that "here is some new new New Orleans Jazz."
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow