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Dancing the Jelly Roll

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Album Review

The Down Home Jazz Band, a hot jazz septet, primarily plays ragtime pieces in the style of Turk Murphy and Lu Watters on this project, Dancing the Jelly Roll. The many themes are swung and the performances are opened a bit for jazz solos. Drummer Hal Smith is the leader and there are plenty of outstanding spots for the versatile cornetist Chris Tyle, trombonist John Gill and clarinetist Frank Powers. The four vocals by various musicians, in Eddie Condon's words, "don't hurt anyone." Most of the pieces are quite obscure and these renditions not only bring to life to the ancient material but are often definitive. Ragtime purists who feel that the music is best played without any improvisation may not be delighted, but all other ragtime fans will appreciate the rich melodies being interpreted with warmth yet flexibility.

Dancing the Jelly Roll, Down Home Jazz Band
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