The Wolverines

Wolverines Classic Jazz Orchestra

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This 1996 CD reissue brings back the debut recording of a Midwest-based band from the mid-1970s. The Wolverines often re-created music from the 1920s and early '30s, sometimes even including note-for-note solos. Most of their repertoire was somewhat obscure but always of high-quality, including on this CD Clarence Williams' "Bozo" and "Bimbo," Cab Calloway's version of "Bugle Call Rag," Fletcher Henderson's "Off to Buffalo" and the Jimmy Noone Apex Club Orchestra's "Oh Sister Ain't That Hot." A change of pace is offered by the Wolverines' brief rendition of excerpts from Aaron Copland's "Concerto for Piano and Orchestra." None of the musicians became famous -- the best-known is guest Robert Rockwell, who makes four appearances on clarinet -- but the soloists are strong, and the band succeeded in their objective of bringing back the spirit of pre-swing jazz. It is a pity that the Wolverines eventually veered toward the swing era and broke up, for their original direction was a worthy one. Recommended.

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