A fine trad jazz cornetist from England who often performs in Holland, Rod Mason has led recording sessions in Europe since 1974. His "Hot Five" in the past primarily recorded selections from the 1920s, including sets of songs that Louis Armstrong had made famous with his own Hot Five and Seven, but this LP is a bit different. Mason and his ensemble -- Engelbert Wrobel on clarinet and alto, trombonist Joe Wulf, pianist Ray Smith, banjoist Udo Jagers and Reiner Oeding on sousaphone -- decided to record some of the songs that they tended to play for more general audiences and that were most requested of them. So in the repertoire are such numbers as "Cabaret," "Tiger Rag," "My Melancholy Baby," "The Entertainer" and "Hello Dolly." However, these versions sound fresh and spirited, with no cornball vocals; there is a reasonable amount of creativity, and this album should appeal to Dixieland and classic jazz fans alike.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow