Salute to Pops, Vol. 2
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This is a hilariously rotten record. Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, trombonist Curtis Fuller, clarinetist Alvin Batiste, guitarist Al Casey, pianist Kirk Lightsey, bassist Red Callender and drummer Alan Dawson attempt to pay tribute to Louis Armstrong but the results are quite embarrassing. It is true that Batiste is from New Orleans but that hardly makes him a Dixieland clarinetist, few trombonists sound less like a New Orleans player than Fuller, and to have Hubbard cast as Satch is bad casting to say the least. The programming of the music is illogical, particularly having the themeless "Gut Bucket Blues" followed by the pointless "Blues For Pops." The odd part is that the closer these modern players come to imitating the Louis Armstrong All-Stars, the sillier they sound. "Ory's Creole Trombone" is remarkably bad with Fuller making Kid Ory seem like a virtuoso and Hubbard fumbling all over the place; couldn't they have attempted it again? "Wild Man Blues" is such a fiasco (didn't any of these musicians care enough to learn the songs?) that this CD should only be purchased to amuse one's knowledgable friends.