Rex Stewart

The Happy Jazz of Rex Stewart

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Other than a pair of European albums in 1966, this set was cornetist Rex Stewart's last full-length LP; in fact, it was reissued by Prestige as The Rex Stewart Memorial Album. Stewart's technique and range had shrunk a bit by 1960, but his sense of humor and ability to make colorful tonal variations were still very much intact. This is a particularly fun set with Stewart doubling on kazoo and taking three good-time vocals, John Dengler switching between bass sax, washboard, and kazoo, Wilbert Kirk heard on harmonica, and the rhythm section consisting of just two guitarists (Jerome Darr and Chauncey Westbrook) and drummer Charles Lampkin. The music is full of good spirits and memorable moments, with the highlights including "Rasputin" (a classic jam), "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone," "San," "I Would Do Most Anything for You," and "Nagasaki." Highly recommended and well worth searching for.

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