Sidney Bechet / Muggsy Spanier

Ragtime Jazz

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The music on this budget LP is much better than the packaging, which does not give the complete personnel. The bulk of the album consists of seven of the eight titles that cornetist Muggsy Spanier recorded with a quartet also including soprano saxophonist Sidney Bechet, guitarist Carmen Mastren and bassist Wellman Braud (leaving out "If I Could Be With You"). The interplay between Spanier and Bechet on these longer-than-usual performances (clocking in around four minutes apiece instead of three) is quite memorable; highlights include "China Boy," "That's a Plenty" and "Sweet Sue." In addition, there are a pair of typical numbers by Spanier's 1957 Dixieland band, a sextet with trombonist Bill Johnson, clarinetist Joe Barufaldi and pianist Red Richards. Hopefully, all of this music will be reissued more coherently on CD.

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