Anniversary of a Jazz Legend: D.J. "Nick" La Rocca 1889-1999
Louisiana Red Hot Records
Consisting of 14 never before recorded jazz tunes, written between 1958 and 1960 by ODJB founder/cornetist Nick La Rocca and/or his trumpet-playing son Jimmy, leader of the revivalist band heard here, this release affords a rare glimpse of a contemporary, white, New Orleans group playing in a modified version of a style that first flourished in the early 1920s.
On this tribute to his father's legacy, Jimmy leads a band of current-day Dixieland disciples, including, alternately, trombonists Bob Havens and Ben Smith and pianists Tom Roberts and John Royen, along with bassist Al Bernard, drummer David Hansen and star clarinetist Tim Laughlin, who, with the occasional nod to Kenny Davern, presents the best living embodiment of a tradition that culminated in the '30s and '40s with Irving Fazola. Laughlin's warm, round tone, phrasing and authenticity of expression are exemplary.