Sharkey Bonano / Sharkey Bonano & His Kings of Dixieland

Sharkey and His Kings of Dixieland [GHB]

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In 2008, Jasmine released the largest compilation ever devoted to the music of trumpeter and vocalist Sharkey Bonano. Its 58 tracks represent his complete Kappa and Capitol recordings, which were made in New Orleans between June 8, 1949 and November 2, 1953. With the exception of a few Storyville, Circle, and Riverside albums, these are most of Bonano's recordings from this period. They were preceded only by about a dozen titles dating from 1936. Bonano, whose approach to jazz could be compared with that of Wingy Manone or young Louis Prima, was a boisterous and sometimes bawdy singer. It is Bonano who grabs the microphone and cuts loose during the "Famous Door Boogie." His fellow musicians on the 1949 sessions include trombonist Santo Pecora of the New Orleans Rhythm Kings and clarinetist Larry Shields, a cardinal member of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. This calls up parallels with recordings made during the '50s by trumpeter Pee Wee Erwin and a band driven by drummer Tony Spargo, also of the ODJB. The collective personnel on this mammoth stash of Truman-era Dixieland also includes trombonists Charles Miller, Julian Laine, Jack Delaney, and Jimmy Blount; bassist and tuba man Chink Martin; clarinetists Lester Bouchon and Leonard Bujie Centobie (who recorded with Art Hodes for Blue Note); pianist Armand Hug, and drummer Monk Hazel who sometimes doubles on mellophone. The vocalist on "Bill Bailey," "Salty Dog," "Darktown Strutters' Ball," and "Lizzie's Blues" is none other than the great Lizzie Miles, who made her first recordings in 1922 and was in the midst of a second comeback when she teamed up with Bonano's band. The guy heard airing his tonsils on "Dinah" and "How'm I Doin'" has been identified as Sam De Kemel, a mysterious character who also blows into a bugle.

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