Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Does it (New Orleans Jazz) get any better than this?
Yves F. Smierciak | Chicago, Illinois United States | 07/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Emile Barnes was one of the greatest New Orleans musicians who never left for the north in the 1920's or 1930's. An excellent clarinet player (at least until a stroke and general ill health made his clarinet playing less steady in the last years of his life), with a fertile imagination and a real feeling for the blues (as well as titles like "Hindustan"), he could have been the Johnny Dodds everyone was looking for in the early 1940's, when they found our stars of New Orleans jazz ,Bunk Johnson and George Lewis instead (Barnes was playing mostly obscure dance jobs in the 1940's and may have passed under the radar at that time, like John Handy or Kid Thomas Valentine). Barnes recorded twice before this session, once in 1946 (4 titles that had to wait for the current patron saint of real New Orleans Jazz, Barry Martin, to reissue on this "American Music" reissue series on CD, with a fantastic "High Society" and an incredible blues clarinet solo amonst the titles recorded), and earlier in 1951 with George Guesnon (results issued on Folkways). This is better than either , we have De De Pierce's excellent trumpet and creole vocals, along with his regular trumpet player Lawrence Toca (the two trumpet parts on a few numbers are a real thing of bueaty, and check Toca's growl on "Careless Love"), Harrison Brazley's very tradtional trombone (he was playing with Billie and De De at that dance club Luthjen's in the early 1950's), Billie's charming blues vocals, one of the greatest drummers of all time, Cie Frazier (I can never get enough of his or Albert Jiles drumming), and bassist Albert Glenny (over 80 in 1951!), as "old school" as we are ever going to find in jazz. Unlike some earlier Bill Russell productions, where the fidelity could be an issue, these recordings were recorded in a music teaching studio with a good piano ,an excellent tape recorder and a microphone that makes all the difference. Barnes is simply playing the best clarinet of his recorded career here (catch him in the 1946 CD, and the Kid Thomas first recordings to get more of his best work), one of greatest exponents of blues clarinet, and he has links to the early clarinets from Martinique (eg Stellio, or Eugene Delouche) as well as Johnny Dodds, though his tone is not as large as Dodds (but then who was). I enjoy his low pitched work in back of both vocalists (cf Careless Love and Eh! La Bas, very rhythmic on the latter, listen to him under De De's creole patios), his blues work and the wonderful "Hindustan". I can go on for hours on the passion of these musicians,howvwer, I would rather encourage you to buy yorself a copy of this CD and understand how bueatiful early jazz can be ,how this music is a part of the blues and jazz continium and listen how the dance halls rocked since the early days of New Orleans, Yves Francois Smierciak"