For its third volume of rare cuts, the Jazz Crusade label has selected two sessions recorded just about ten years apart. First is the Paul Barbarin Band in New York in December of 1954. Drummer Barbarin was a veteran of groups headed by King Oliver and Louis Armstrong. Joining him is consummate banjo player (and Barbarin's nephew) Danny Barker. This is jazz as it was played in the early days, not the popular fluff that had a rise in popularity during this period. Barbarin shows why he was in demand by traditional jazz players on such tracks as "Gettysburg March," which he kicks off. His percussive work sets the pace as he drives the group, as well as timely drum breaks on such tunes as "Li'l Liza Jane." This tune is a regular stomping session, New Orleans-style. Willie Humphrey on clarinet and vocals, along with Jim Brunious on trumpet and Bobby Thomas on trombone, help make it happen. The second is a Bunk Johnson session from 1944 with his Spicy Advice band. Johnson's playing on "Lowdown Blues" and "Mama's Gone, Goodbye" helps to put to rest one criticism leveled at Johnson during his second career, namely that he ignored the blues and tunes of New Orleans in favor of so-called Dixieland. That is not the case here. The validity of his New Orleans style is authenticated by the Creole-tinged clarinet of Wade Whalley and the trombone of Floyd O'Brien. The trumpet player leaves no doubt he could handle the horn with aplomb and skill on such cuts as "Spicy Advice" and "Ballin' the Jack." There are a couple of fluffs here and there, but they don't detract one iota from the majesty of the playing. Good sound for both sessions. Volume three of this fine series is recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Dave Nathan