Plays Popular Songs

Plays Popular Songs

by Bunk Johnson


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This CD has two of veteran New Orleans trumpeter Bunk Johnson's better sets. He is first heard playing eight songs in a trio with pianist Don Ewell (here showing off the strong influence of Jelly Roll Morton) and drummer Alphonse Steele. Most of those numbers are rather unlikely vehicles for Johnson, but his taste in music was a lot wider than that of most of his followers. Among the highlights are "In the Gloaming," "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen," "Beautiful Doll" and "Poor Butterfly." The second half of the release is taken from several dates and matches Johnson with his working group of the period, a pianoless sextet that also includes clarinetist George Lewis, trombonist Jim Robinson and drummer Baby Dodds. In addition to a few standards, Johnson's group also performs such offbeat material as "I Don't Want to Walk Without You," "The Waltz You Saved for Me" and "You Always Hurt the One You Love." Nine of its dozen selections were released for the first time on this disc. There are moments where the band gets a little out-of-tune (particularly Lewis, who was trying out a different clarinet), but in general the group is heard at its prime, performing joyous ensemble-oriented music. Highly recommended to fans of classic New Orleans jazz.

Product Details

Release Date: 12/25/1999
Label: American Music Rec.
UPC: 0762247101529
catalogNumber: 15
Rank: 165762

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