Oscar "Papa" Celestin

Oscar "Papa" Celestin/George Lewis: The Radio Broadcasts 1950-1951

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Two of the most popular New Orleans jazz bands of 1950-51 are featured on this LP. Oscar Celestin's group (a sextet with the legendary clarinetist Alphonse Picou and trombonist Bill Mathews) run through a set of such crowd pleasers as "Oh Didn't He Ramble," "Lil' Liza Jane," "Eh, La Bas" and "When the Saints Go Marching In"; "High Society" has Picou playing his famous clarinet solo (which he had worked out on piccolo a half-century earlier). Although Celestin was never a major trumpeter, his solos were thoughtful, sincere and appealing, and his vocals were full of spirit. The flip side of the album features clarinetist George Lewis' group at a time when they were getting ready to emerge from New Orleans. With the exception of the trumpet slot (which is split between Elmer Talbert and Percy Humphrey), Lewis' personnel was set with trombonist Jim Robinson and pianist Alton Purnell being key soloists. "Bugle Boy March," "Running Wild" and "Sheik of Araby" are highlights of Lewis' portion. This set is easily recommended to fans of New Orleans revivalist jazz.