Frank Trapani, trumpet; Jim Snyder, clarinet; Harry Watters, trombone; Phamous Lambert, piano; Danny Rubio, tuba; Duke Barker, Drums.
In 1975, the Dukes were the first Jazz band to record direct-to-disc and in 1984 they recorded the first Jazz compact disc - yet another first with this familiar group of standards. Frank Trapani plays a fine toned spirited trumpet - I thought all his solos superb. Dippermouth Blues zipped along with some gusto and the tuba gave a sumptuous breadth to the bass - a great solo on Muskrat Ramble. Every instrument excelled in the lively playing of Fidgety Feet, and When It's Sleepytime Down South moved along, well - sleepily. Time for a quiet foxtrot if your partner is handy. The clarinet of Jim Snyder tugged at the right places in Do You know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?; the band rounding it all off with a quick bash at When The Saints Come Marching In. I thought some of the numbers overlong for the CD format; the arrangements were not as tight or innovative as the present-day Dukes and at times there seemed a problem with balance - the rhythm was too intrusive over the solo instruments, giving a laboured affect - Phamous Lambert appears to have been placed behind the aspidistra plant in the corner. There was a vogue (it shows off musical talent) of popping in two bars of some other tune during a solo - I counted more than half a dozen. Perhaps there is a musical knowledge competition waiting to be developed?
by Ferdinand Maylin
Editor: The Dukes of Dixieland will be appearing at the Elkhart Jazz Festival in Elkhart Indiana June 21-23, 2002
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