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Bunk Johnson Volume 2 - New Orleans (1942-1945)

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Album Review

This CD is the first installment in Document Records' Bunk Johnson in Chronological Order series. Taken from four different New Orleans dates, the tracks start with two rehearsal takes from Johnson's first recording session on June 11th, 1942. Recorded in a piano storeroom at a local music shop, these two tracks feature the lineup of Jim Robinson on trombone, George Lewis on clarinet, Walter Decou on piano, Lawrence Marrero on banjo, Austin Young on bass, and Ernest Rogers on drums. Fourteen takes from an autumn 1942 session follow, featuring many of the same players, with the addition of Albert Warner on trombone and Chester Zardis on bass. Four tracks are included from a 1945 recording date that include Abby Williams on drums. The final (clipped) track, "Basin Street Blues," features Johnson with Louis Armstrong's legendary Jazz Foundation Six taken from a 1945 concert radio broadcast. Although short, it's Bunk and Satchmo's only known recording together. As with the rest of Document's Bunk Johnson series, this collection chronicles the music of an American New Orleans jazz pioneer. It testifies to the commitment of 1940s aficionados to capture the art of Johnson and other survivors of one of the earliest jazz generations.


Born: 27 December 1889 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '10s, '20s, '30s, '40s

Due to the difference of opinion between his followers (who claimed he was a brilliant stylist) and his detractors (who felt that his playing was worthless), Bunk Johnson was a controversial figure in the mid-'40s, when he made a most unlikely comeback. The truth is somewhere in between. Bunk Johnson, who tended to exaggerate, claimed that he was born in 1879 and that he played with Buddy Bolden in New Orleans, but it was discovered that he was actually a decade younger. He did have a pretty tone...
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Bunk Johnson Volume 2 - New Orleans (1942-1945), Bunk Johnson
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