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Rhythm & Bones

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Album Review

Although trombonist Porky Cohen has played in the jazz major leagues since the early 1940s (including periods with Tony Pastor, Charlie Barnet, the Casa Loma Orchestra, Lucky Millinder, Boyd Raeburn, Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, Bobby Hackett, the Six with Bob Wilber, and various Dixieland bands) and toured regularly with Roomful of Blues during 1979-1987, this CD was his first opportunity to lead his own date. Seventy at the time, Cohen is heard in prime form leading a romping session featuring some of the members of Roomful of Blues, along with his successor trombonist Carl Querfurth. The joyous music, which only has two vocals among the 13 numbers (updates of Jimmy Rushing and Bessie Smith songs featuring Sugar Ray Norcia and Michelle Willson), mixes together heated swing and 1950s style R&B blues to exhilarating effect; Illinois Jacquet would feel quite comfortable in this setting. There are plenty of opportunities for not only Cohen to solo, but all of the other horn players. An added plus is the lengthy and definitive liner notes, which fully relate (along with many photos) the Porky Cohen story. Highly recommended.


Born: 02 June 1924 in Springfield, MA

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Best-known for his years as trombonist with Roomful of Blues, Porky Cohen finally had his recording debut as a leader in 1996, a highly enjoyable outing for Bullseye Blues with many of the members of the group. He started playing trombone at 13 and considers Jack Teagarden his most important early influence. Cohen worked local engagements from age 15 and took lessons from Miff Mole after graduating from high school in 1941. After a tryout with Benny Goodman, Cohen played with Tony Pastor's band,...
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Rhythm & Bones, Porky Cohen
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