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Barney Bigard Selected Hits, Vol. 1

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Album Review

This long out-of-print Lp from the legendary RCA Vintage series has unrelated sessions featuring clarinetists Barney Bigard and Albert Nicholas. The Bigard sides (two dates from 1940-41 with fellow Duke Ellington sidemen that have since been reissued on CD) feature such fine players as cornetist Ray Nance, tenor-saxophonist Ben Webster, valve trombonist Juan Tizol, baritonist Harry Carney, Duke himself on piano, bassist Jimmy Blanton and drummer Sonny Greer. Most notable among the eight numbers is the original version of "C Jam Blues" which here is called "'C' Blues." However it is the Albert Nicholas recordings with Bernard Addison's Rhythm and the Little Ramblers (both in 1935) that are most memorable and quite rare. Guitarist Addison takes a brilliant chordal solo on "Toledo Shuffle," trumpeter Freddy Jenkins is heard at his best with the former group and the Little Ramblers' feature two rewarding but obscure solos from trumpeter Ward Pinkett. Classic small-group swing.


Born: 03 March 1906 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

Barney Bigard was one of the most distinctive clarinetists in jazz and a longtime asset to Duke Ellington's orchestra. Although he took clarinet lessons with Lorenzo Tio, Bigard's initial reputation was made as a tenor saxophonist; in fact, based on a few of his recordings (particularly those with Luis Russell), Bigard was number two behind Coleman Hawkins in the mid-'20s. After working with several groups in New Orleans, Bigard moved to Chicago in 1924 where he played with King Oliver during 1925-1927....
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Barney Bigard Selected Hits, Vol. 1, Barney Bigard
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