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Jimmy O'Bryant Vol. 1 (1924-1925)

Jimmy O'Bryant

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Album Review

On the first of two CDs released by the Austrian RST label, clarinetist Jimmy O'Bryant, a long-forgotten but talented player who died in 1928, is featured on his ironically titled Famous Original Washboard Band (a trio/quartet with pianist Jimmy Blythe, Jasper Taylor on washboard, and guest cornetist Bob Shoffner) on 19 selections. In addition, O'Bryant and Blythe accompany singer Sodarisa Miller during two songs, and O'Bryant, cornetist Tommy Ladnier, and pianist Lovie Austin assist blues singer Julia Davis on two others. O'Bryant, who in his best moments sounds close to the great Johnny Dodds, was not a major soloist, although he might have grown into a stronger talent were it not for his premature death. The primitive recording quality of these early performances may put some off, but O'Bryant plays quite well, and many of his originals have not been revived and are worth investigating. 1920s jazz fans will want this CD along with the second volume.

Biography

Born: 1896 in Arkansas

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s

Of all the clarinetists in the 1920s, Jimmy O'Bryant probably came closest to duplicating the sound (if not the genius) of Johnny Dodds. O'Bryant worked with the Tennessee Ten (1920-1921), in a group co-led by Jelly Roll Morton and W.C. Handy (1923), and briefly with King Oliver (1924), but he is best remembered for his recordings with Lovie Austin's Blues Serenaders and his own Washboard Band; all of the latter have been reissued on two RST CDs. Jimmy O'Bryant's early death robbed...
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Jimmy O'Bryant Vol. 1 (1924-1925), Jimmy O'Bryant
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