Dukes of Dixieland

Sunrise Sunset

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Most of the material on this 1966 recording by the Dukes of Dixieland is not bad (only "Sunrise, Sunset" and the Beatles' "Michelle" are out of place on the Dixieland date), but the brevity of the performances ("That's a Plenty" at exactly three minutes is easily the longest number) is quite unfortunate, cutting the length of the solos. With trumpeter Frank Assunto, trombonist Ed Hubble (who took the place of the late Fred Assunto) and clarinetist Jerry Fuller leading the strong lineup, this could have been a classic set. But Decca's executives seemed to have been much more concerned with keeping the Dukes' music safe, brief and radio-friendly than in letting the musicians be spontaneous. Only the band's first of six Decca releases (Live at Bourbon Street) finds the group approaching its potential during its last years.