Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
"Gimpy" Peach Johnson | 01/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been enjoying King Oliver's classic 1923 recordings for some time (especially with the help of the recent Archeophone/Off The Record 2-CD set), and approached this recording somewhat cautiously. I know that Bob Wilber is one of the finest traditional jazz musicians today, but obviously, there was only one King Oliver. I had been disappointed with the results of many previous attempts to "re-make" those historic recordings. Somehow, most bands just couldn't capture convincingly that tight ensemble sound, or else they ruined the recordings with that boring, repetitive "dixieland drumming" that plagues so many trad bands today. From the moment I started this recording, I knew this was something different.
For one thing, percussion is supplied by woodblocks and cymbals, as it was on the original Oliver 78s--and this is some of the most tasteful, musical woodblock playing you could ever hope for! Bob Wilber and his ensemble very pleasingly recreate the sound of those Oliver records, but this time with the benefit of modern recording technology. Finally, I have a true sense of what the Oliver band must have sounded like in person. This is great jazz! Occasionally, the band sounds a bit too "polished,"--missing that raw energy of the original Oliver band, but this is a minor quibble. The musicians here are top notch. Tempos are appropriate (never rushed or dragging) and the careful attention to dynamics heightens the excitement. Sadly, too many trad jazz bands know only one dynamic: forte. I'm also pleased that Wilber and his group avoided note-for-note recreations of the original Oliver records; these sound just like the original Oliver arrangements, but variations in the solos (always in period style) make these sound like they could have been alternative takes from those Oliver sessions.
The recording is rich and warm sounding and despite the rather boring cover, this really is a remarkable recording. I play it often and never tire of it. It makes great listening while driving or just while doing chores around the house. This really is an excellent album--one of my jazz favorites. Highly recommended!"