Bunk and the New Orleans Revival 1942-1947

Bunk and the New Orleans Revival 1942-1947

by Bunk Johnson



A valuable core sample of Bunk Johnson's remarkable career as living relic and patriarch of the traditional jazz revitalization movement of the 1940s, Bunk and the New Orleans Revival 1942-1947 contains some two and a quarter hours of austere New Orleans polyphony. This two-for-the-price-of-one package includes authentic street parade jazz, a swell taste of how Johnson sounded filling in for Lu Watters with the Yerba Buena Jazz Band, and two powerful examples of Johnson's brief collaboration with Sidney Bechet. A trio session from 1946 offers a rare opportunity to appreciate Johnson without any other horns in the room, backed only by pianist Don Ewell and drummer Alphonse Steele. This trio's treatment of "In the Gloaming" is very likely among the best recordings old Johnson ever made. Four selections from Johnson's last recording session, made (with no audience in attendance) at Carnegie Hall in 1947, round out a satisfying tribute to this controversial man and his scruffy brand of traditional jazz. While Johnson may be an easy target for critics and disgruntled historians, the music he left behind stands its own ground, unencumbered by numerical rating systems or anybody's specialized opinions. It moves at will according to its own itinerary. The best way to listen is to suspend all preconceptions, opening one's heart to the simple unity of each ensemble. Then you get the feeling there is no need for highfalutin evaluations. While the rhythms of the 1942 recordings are described in the liner notes as "rather plodding" (as compared with those 1945 sessions involving Baby Dodds), there is something weirdly satisfying about their deliberate "dance tempo" percolation. Johnson's recordings are about hanging loose and getting the feeling. See also Lester Bowie's moments of gutbucket ebullience with the Art Ensemble of Chicago. It's all about getting the feeling. This has got to be one of the widest-ranging Bunk Johnson retrospectives ever presented to the public in one package. Johnson is first heard in New Orleans in 1942, armed with his new horn and a special set of artificial teeth designed for him by Dr. Leonard Bechet, Sidney's brother. The 1944 Yerba Buena session took Johnson to San Francisco, while a "V-Disc Veterans" date (including bassist Red Callender and Lester Young's brother Lee on drums) was recorded in Los Angeles that same year. Johnson made more recordings in New Orleans during 1944-1945, and in New York throughout 1945, 1946, and 1947. In a way it is unfortunate that certain individuals persisted in focusing the limelight (and the microphones) so exclusively upon Johnson, thereby neglecting other gifted New Orleans musicians such as Kid Shots Madison, whose woefully few recordings are hardly remembered today. (Shots appears on the Johnson's Brass Band session of May 18, 1945; three tracks from that date are included in this compilation.) In another sense listeners are awfully lucky that William Russell took the time and made the effort to record this music on location in the city of New Orleans, where surprisingly few jazz recording sessions occurred before 1942. Anyone seeking an in-depth Bunk Johnson experience should consult the American Music label of New Orleans, from which all of Johnson's hometown sessions are available on compact disc. Shots Madison shows up marvelously on George Lewis with Kid Shots Madison (AMCD-2). Congratulations to Jasmine Records of London for releasing this outstanding tribute to Bunk Johnson. He deserves to be heard.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/02/2003
Label: Jasmine Music
UPC: 0604988063523
catalogNumber: 635

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bunk Johnson   Primary Artist,Trumpet
George Lewis   Clarinet
Danny Barker   Guitar
Don Ewell   Piano
Alton Purnell   Piano
Jim Robinson   Trombone
Wellman Braud   Baritone Saxophone
Red Jones   Drums
Baby Dodds   Drums,Snare Drums
Isadore Barbarin   Alto Horn
Sidney Bechet   Clarinet
Garvin Bushell   Clarinet
Red Callender   Baritone Saxophone
Joe Clark   Sousaphone
Ed Cuffee   Trombone
Pops Foster   Baritone Saxophone
Manzie Johnson   Drums
Don Kirkpatrick   Piano
Kid Shots Madison   Trumpet
Laurence Marrero   Banjo,Bass Drums
Floyd O'Brien   Trombone
Frank Pasley   Guitar
Alcide Pavageau   Baritone Saxophone
Alphonse Steele   Drums
Albert Warner   Trombone
Wade Whaley   Clarinet
Chester Zardis   Baritone Saxophone
Austin Young   Baritone Saxophone
Lee Young   Drums
Sandy Williams   Trombone
Ernest Rogers   Drums
Walter Decou   Piano
Adolphe Alexander   Baritone Horn
Cliff Jackson & His Crazy Cats   Piano
Abbie Williams   Drums
Edgar Mosely   Drums
Freddy Washington   Piano

Technical Credits

Stephen Foster   Composer
Irving Berlin   Composer
Bunk Johnson   Composer,Contributor
Scott Joplin   Composer
Jelly Roll Morton   Composer
King Oliver   Composer
Kid Ory   Composer
Eddie Edwards   Composer
Nick LaRocca   Composer
W.C. Handy   Composer
Armand Piron   Composer
Shelton Brooks   Composer
Lew Brown   Composer
Con Conrad   Composer
Henry Creamer   Composer
Martha E. Koenig   Composer
Turner Layton   Composer
George Mitchell   Composer
Henry W. Ragas   Composer
Leo Robin   Composer
Tony Sbarbaro   Composer
Larry Shields   Composer
Harry Beasley Smith   Composer
Ted Snyder   Composer
Harry Warren   Composer
Spencer Williams   Composer
Yerba Buena Jazz Band   Contributor
Bunk Johnson & His New Orleans Jazz Band   Contributor
Richard A. Whiting   Composer
Sidney Clare   Composer
Ford Dabney   Composer
Doris Fisher   Composer
Artie Matthews   Composer
Francis Wheeler   Composer
James Henry Burris   Composer
Harry Da Costa   Composer
James Dempsey   Composer
Raymond B. Egan   Composer
William Tyers   Composer
Chris Smith   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Allan Roberts   Composer
George Hulme   Liner Notes,Annotation
Bunk Johnson's Street Paraders   Contributor
Mick   Graphic Design
Annie Fortescue Harrison   Composer
Meta Orred   Composer
James Scott   Composer
Bunk's Brass Band   Contributor

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