Ken Colyer

Winter Wonderland

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This is one of trumpeter Ken Colyer's better recordings from his later years. Although he became less active in the 1970s (passing away in 1986), Colyer is in fine form during the eight fairly lengthy performances included on Winter Wonderland, which was released for the first time in 2003. His rhythm section is greatly helped by the presence of the Jelly Roll Morton-influenced pianist Ray Smith, while the front line, with clarinetist Chris Blount and the underrated trombonist Dave Vickers, is excellent. Colyer swings happily and takes occasional vocals on this spirited set. The music is not flawless, but the spirit and joy of Colyer's brand of New Orleans jazz make up for any brief missteps.

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