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Bobby Gordon: Bobby Gordon Plays Joe Marsala: Lower Register

There are myriad reasons why clarinetist Joe Marsala languishes underrated: his insistence on playing small-band swing music during the 1930s and ’40s for aficionados on 52nd Street while his peers were touring in big bands or turning to bebop; his abandonment of performing in favor of being a songwriter (“Don’t Cry, Joe [Let Her Go, Let Her Go, Let Her Go],” “And So to Sleep Again”) and music-business executive at the end of the ’40s; and his relatively small body of recordings.

Clarinetist Bobby Gordon, a disciple and student of Marsala’s, may be the ideal figure to celebrate his 2007 centennial with a tribute album. Gordon’s 1963 LP Warm and Sentimental was produced by Marsala; he made an album with Marsala’s harp-playing widow Adele Girard (1992’s Don’t Let It End), and he has been making a practice of recording tribute albums of late, including collections devoted to Pee Wee Russell (another major influence) and Bing Crosby.

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