This album contains definitive 1953 recordings of clarinetist George Lewis who led the most authentic New Orleans jazz band. It's a sound that led via English Skiffle groups to Rock music of the '60s. It's a New Orleans Brass Band that's come inside to play with a full rhythm section. It's relevant in spite of the vintage. It's Blues, Gospel, Ragtime, Pop before Rock. It struts and it stomps. Here's the first studio recordings of the George Lewis New Orleans Band which toured colleges, clubs and festivals and brought the sound, later settled-in at Preservation Hall, of jazz's first beginnings.
Clarinetist Albert Nicholas was one of the most important musicians of Jazz's Golden Era of the twenties. He followed Johnny Dodds into the King Oliver band, influenced the clarinet style of Barney Bigard, and was a member of the Louis Armstrong, Chick Webb and Luis Russell orchestras. Nicholas recorded with Sidney Bechet, Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller, Baby Dodds, and others. He was one of the first American jazzmen to tour Europe and the orient beginning in 1927, a preparation for his eventual move to Paris in 1956. Fortunately Nicholas vacationed in Chicago in 1959 where we recorded this album, with Floyd O'Brien, Marty Grosz, Fred Kolman and others.
NORO was organized in 1967 by pianist Lars Edegran, who became interested in playing ragtime music after finding a great number of orchestrated turn-of-the-century rags in the John Robichaux Collection at Tulane University's Archive of New Orleans Jazz. The idea was to follow the composer's intention but with the addition of the New Orleans rhythm and swing that is so noticeably lacking in many ragtime recordings. Violinist, William Russell, was a well-known authority and producer of New Orleans jazz and ragtime and added greatly to the orchestra's sound. 18 selections from 1967-70 with more than a full hour of ragtime delight.
Trombonist Jim Beebe recorded two swinging LPs for Delmark in the late '70s which have been combined here into one CD. Jim's long list of credits include work with Bob Scobey, the Jazz Ltd. Band, toured the country twice with Art Hodes in a band that included Eddie Condon, Wild Bill Davison, Barney Bigard and Franz Jackson. At the time of this recording, Beebe's Chicago Jazz had been ensconced for two years at Flaming Sally's in Chicago's Blackstone Hotel. That these guys were a working band is evident, so enjoy this full hour of Saturday Night Function.
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