Bill Bissonette & His Easy Riders Jazz Band

Then & Now

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This two-CD set serves as a perfect tribute to trombonist Big Bill Bissonnette's trad jazz band of the 1960s, the Easy Riders Jazz Band. The first CD has the band in prime form from 1965-1966, jamming happily on 13 songs, including a couple basic originals, "It's Tight Like That," "The Shiek of Araby," "Over the Waves," and "The Old Rugged Cross." The personnel is Bissonnette, Sammy Rimington on clarinet and alto, cornetist Fred Vigorito, pianist Bill Sinclair, banjoist Dick Griffith, bassist Mouldy Dick McCarthy, and drummer Art Pulver. In 1998, Bissonnette gathered together the group's survivors (Griffith and Pulver had passed on), added Paul Boehmke on reeds for some cuts, and had bassist Arnie Hyman replacing McCarthy on all but four songs (Mouldy was ailing and would soon pass away). The band's sound was unchanged, with Rimington, in particular, showing that he had grown as a musician through the years. The joyous reunion (which includes "Panama," "Over the Waves," "West Indies Blues," and "Walk Through The Streets of the City") is a success, making this two-CD set highly recommended to fans of revival New Orleans jazz.

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