Despite its rather outlandish and forbidding name, the Baker-Baldwin Radiogram Washboards is a New Orleans-style sextet from Australia. Co-led by multi-instrumentalist Tom Baker (who switches between tuba, soprano sax, alto sax, tenor sax, trumpet, baritone sax, and occasional vocals) and pianist Tony Baldwin, the band also includes trumpeter Bob Henderson, clarinetist John McCarthy, banjoist-guitarist Ian Date, and either Len or Adam Barnard on washboard. The washboard gives the band its own personality to an extent as do the authentic-sounding horn soloists, with the group sounding like an early-'30s combo. As is true with most recordings from the Stomp Off label, the emphasis is on obscure songs although there are more standards than usual including "'Deed I Do" (which sounds inspired in this setting), Eubie Blake's "You're Lucky to Me," "Softly in a Morning Sunrise," "How High the Moon" (an unusual choice for this band), "Mandy, Make Up Your Mind," and "I've Found a New Baby." All of those tunes plus the lesser known selections sound quite fresh on this spirited and very musical trad jazz set.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow