Bob Wilber

Music of King Oliver

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King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band was the top group on records in 1923 and it introduced not only the cornetist-leader but Louis Armstrong and clarinetist Johnny Dodds. In 1981 Bob Wilber sought to recreate the spirit and arrangements of the original band. Utilizing an octet with both Bob and Glenn Zottola on trumpets and trombonist Tom Artin, Wilber recorded 15 selections; Oliver cut 13 in 1923, "Wa Wa Wa" dates from slightly later and Wilber's "Lincoln Gardens Stomp" is in the style of the Creole Jazz Band. The ensembles (transcribed by Wilber and Mark Tucker) are pretty much note-for-note from the early records although the soloists were free to depart in subtle ways. This is an interesting release that allows today's listeners to hear just how intricate the ensembles of King Oliver's band were back in the early 1920's. Although Wilber mentions in the liner notes that this was the first of three albums in the project, it is actually the only one to ever come out.