Like Sidney Bechet, clarinetist Albert Nicholas moved permanently to France later in his career. Although he was there 20 years (1953 until his death in 1973), Nicholas never received Bechet's fame, but he seemed to prosper overseas, no longer having to be concerned with Americans' lack of interest in traditional jazz. This particular album, one of two cut by Nicholas during a rare 1959 visit to the States, teams the melodic clarinetist with the great pianist Art Hodes, bassist Earl Murphy, and drummer Freddy Kohlman. They jam through a set of standards and blues, and the results are enjoyable. The 1997 CD reissue not only has the original 11 selections, but nine alternate takes and a previously unissued "Careless Love" from the same sessions. Highly recommended.
New Orleans-Chicago Connection Review
by Scott Yanow