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Dukes of Dixieland: Sound of Bix

Following its earlier tributes to the recorded legacies of Jelly Roll Morton and Bob Crosby’s Bob Cats, the current edition of the 27-year-old Dukes now directs its attention to ten tunes recorded by Bix Beiderbecke, as well as one of his piano compositions (“In the Dark”), a number that he has played but did not record (“Limehouse Blues”), and one that has absolutely no relationship at all to his career, “Down by the Riverside,” an old New Orleans spiritual first recorded in 1942 by Bunk Johnson! The most impressive soloist is clarinetist Tim Laughlin, an Irving Fazola disciple whose full, rounded tone, clean articulation, and bluesy expressiveness lend even more dimension to the already-skilled playing of trumpeter Kevin Clark, trombonist Ben Smith, pianist Tom McDermott, bassist Everett Link and drummer/leader Richard Taylor. Guest stars include Bixian cornetist Connie Jones on “Goose Pimples,” “Riverboat Shuffle,” “Davenport Blues” and “Rhythm King,” tenor and bass saxman Tom Fischer and guitarist Steve Blailock. Other titles include “Ostrich Walk,” “At the Jazz Band Ball,” “Borneo,” “Singin’ the Blues,” “San” and “Old Man River.” – Jack Sohmer

Originally Published