Yank Lawson

Ole Dixie

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Anyone familiar with Dixieland trumpeter Yank Lawson will find this a bit of an odd recording in his discography. Presumably the modern pop material and Latin bent of some tracks was designed to draw new fans to jazz, though it seem unlikely that any pop fan would want to hear ridiculous songs like a Mexican-flavored treatment of Sonny Bono's "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" or the Lovin' Spoonful's "Daydream" (which is cast in an uptempo Latin setting, with an unidentified whistler, probably bassist Bob Haggart). Longtime fans of Lawson are far more likely to be interested in updated treatments of "Fidgety Feet" (which interpolates "[Back Home Again In] Indiana"), "Wolverine Blues," "Muskrat Ramble," or Haggart's timeless ballad "What's New?" The participants in the session also include pianist Dave McKenna, clarinetist Pee Wee Russell, guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, and the surprising choice of drummer Chico Hamilton on some tracks, though it is a safe bet they were wondering what producer Bob Thiele was smoking in his always present pipe. But the final track, written by Lawson, may have very well described his feelings after he completed this uneven record: "I Cried in the Night."

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