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Album Review

The music on this budget LP is much better than the packaging, which does not give the complete personnel. The bulk of the album consists of seven of the eight titles that cornetist Muggsy Spanier recorded with a quartet also including soprano saxophonist Sidney Bechet, guitarist Carmen Mastren and bassist Wellman Braud (leaving out "If I Could Be With You"). The interplay between Spanier and Bechet on these longer-than-usual performances (clocking in around four minutes apiece instead of three) is quite memorable; highlights include "China Boy," "That's a Plenty" and "Sweet Sue." In addition, there are a pair of typical numbers by Spanier's 1957 Dixieland band, a sextet with trombonist Bill Johnson, clarinetist Joe Barufaldi and pianist Red Richards. Hopefully, all of this music will be reissued more coherently on CD.

Biography

Born: 09 November 1906 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s

Muggsy Spanier was a predictable but forceful cornetist who rarely strayed far from the melody. Perfectly at home in Dixieland ensembles, Spanier was also an emotional soloist (equally influenced by King Oliver and Louis Armstrong) who was an expert at using the plunger mute. He started on cornet when he was 13, played with Elmer Schoebel's band in 1921, and first recorded in 1924. Spanier was a fixture in Chicago throughout the decade (appearing on several important early records) before joining...
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Ragtime Jazz, Muggsy Spanier
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