Freddie Keppard was considered the top cornetist in New Orleans during 1910-1914, before he moved up north and was succeeded by King Oliver. Keppard, one of the few early jazzmen to make it onto record, appeared on 25 selections from 1923-1927, and all are included on this fascinating CD. Some of the titles (particularly those with Doc Cook's Dreamland Orchestra in 1924) are very primitively recorded and do not contain much Keppard, but the cornetist is heard in fine form on such later numbers as "Messin' Around," "Here Comes the Hot Tamale Man," "It Must Be the Blues," and especially "Stockyard Strut." Among the sidemen are clarinetists Johnny Dodds and Jimmie Noone, trombonist Ray Palmer, pianist Jimmy Blythe, and (on two versions of "Salty Dog") blues singer Papa Charlie Jackson. Keppard, whose trumpet breaks often recall military music and aspects of ragtime, is always fascinating to hear, even though he was past his prime by the 1920s. As this CD shows, there was just enough of him on record to give listeners an idea of what 1910 New Orleans jazz probably sounded like. This imported Swiss CD is an essential acquisition for all vintage jazz collectors.
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