Eddie Condon

The Town Hall Concerts, Vol. 6

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Volume 6 of this very valuable series of two-CD sets has four complete (and well-recorded) half-hour radio shows taken from a legendary program billed as Eddie Condon's Town Hall Concerts (even though by late 1944 the performances were actually being held at the Ritz Theatre). Every week Condon gathered together a large ensemble of his favorite players and featured them individually and collectively in exciting fashion, finishing each Dixieland-oriented show with an "Impromptu Ensemble." All of the volumes in this series (which contain shows that had never been coherently reissued before) have more than their share of memorable moments. This particular two-fer features such classic players as trumpeters Billy Butterfield, Max Kaminsky and Muggsy Spanier, trombonists Lou McGarity, Bennie Morton, and Miff Mole, baritonist Ernie Caceres, clarinetists Edmond Hall and Pee Wee Russell, pianists Jess Stacy and Gene Schroeder and singers Lee Wiley and Red McKenzie. Condon somehow manages to feature each of the highly individual musicians and still save some space for his witty and acerbic comments. This is timeless music from an era that can never be quite duplicated.

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