Sammy Duncan

Midnight Session Underground

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It was a slow night at Atlanta's Big Horn in 1974, at least as far as the size of the audience went. Despite the sparse crowd, trumpeter Sammy Duncan and his sextet were raring to go. Their repertoire includes nine Dixieland warhorses plus a brief "Tres Moutarde," but there is nothing clich├ęd or tired about their playing. In fact, the energy on this program is often remarkable, with roaring versions of such songs as "China Boy," "Fidgety Feet," "High Society," and "Wolverine Blues." Duncan, who was inspired by Louis Armstrong, mostly displays his own sound within the New Orleans/Chicago jazz tradition, clarinetist Herman Foretich and trombonist Skip Derringer keep up with him, and the rhythm section never lets the momentum slow down. Suffice it to say that this is an exciting and spirited set with an emphasis on uptempo tunes, and that fans of the more passionate side of Dixieland will certainly enjoy the performance by Sammy Duncan & His Big Horn All Stars.

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