Here we have the senior member of the Barbarin musical family of New Orleans, at least on moldy vinyl. A grand old man of the city's jazz style he is as well, a master on an unusual horn that later brassmen found too difficult to fit into the evolving sounds of jazz. Isidore Barbarin began with the cornet as a young teenager: the year was 1886. After taking up alto horn he marched forward with the Onward Brass Band but was also involved with other brass groups. It was quite common in this period for different bands to nab members from each other's formations in order to fill the roster needed for a parade, funeral or concert.
Isidore Barbarin had to wait quite awhile to get his sound on record. By 1945 there was finally some evidence of the man in discographies, courtesy of bandleader Bunk Johnson. Some musicians naively call their records their children; perhaps this artist's actual acts of procreation have meant more to the history of jazz than his time in front of a microphone. He produced four children that became musicians: Paul Barbarin, Louis Barbarin, William Barbarin and Lucien Barbarin. Furthemore jazzman Danny Barker is his grandson.