Red Balaban

Red Balaban & the Eddie Condon All Stars, Vol. 1

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Bassist Red Balaban and a group of musicians who often played at Eddie Condon's club as the house band after the guitarist's death are featured on two 1998 CDs that document a lengthy concert they performed in Connecticut. Cornetist Ed Polcer, trombonist Ed Hubble and clarinetist Bobby Gordon form a solid front line; Balaban is joined by pianist Jim Andrews and drummer Ernie Hackett (cornetist Bobby's son) in the rhythm section, and the results are spirited Dixieland. There are three vocals by Balaban and one apiece by Polcer and Gordon, but fortunately no one gets hurt. Highlights among the numbers are "I Double Dare You," "Baby Won't You Please Come Home" and "Royal Garden Blues." Trad jazz fans will want both sets.