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Sounds of New Orleans Vol. 6

George Girard

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Album Review

Ill-fated trumpeter George Girard, who died of cancer at the age of 26, only led a few sessions in his short life, making this Storyville release of live performances quite valuable. Girard is heard in 1954 in prime form jamming with trombonist Santo Pecora, clarinetist Raymond Burke, tenorman Lester Bouchon, pianist Jeff Riddick, bassist Chink Martin and drummer Monk Hazel; of the four songs, Pecora's "Zero" is the high point. In addition, there are six numbers from July 1956 that would be Girard's final recordings. Although his comeback after a few months of inactivity was cut short, the trumpeter still sounds surprisingly viable with a sextet also including trombonist Bob Havens and clarinetist Harry Shields, taking spirited vocals on "Sweethearts on Parade" and "Doctor Jazz." Girard's passing was a tragic loss for New Orleans jazz, but there is nothing tragic about these exuberant Dixieland performances.

Biography

Born: 07 October 1930 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s

One of the finest New Orleans jazz players to emerge in the 1950s, George Girard's premature death from cancer cut short a very promising career. He became a professional in 1946 after graduating from high school, played with Phil Zito, and then became a key member (along with Pete Fountain) of the Basin Street Six (1950-1954). After the breakup of that group, Girard led his own bands and freelanced until bad health forced him to retire in 1956. Girard had an exciting trumpet style and was a rhythmic...
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Sounds of New Orleans Vol. 6, George Girard
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