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Randy Reinhart: As Long as I Live

Despite evidence to the contrary at hundreds of trad revival festivals and parties, the classic-jazz repertoire is doomed neither to molder nor fester. Warhorses can be winners if their riders know how to handle them. As if to prove the point, Reinhart is out of the gate with one of the oldest warhorses of all, “At the Jazz Band Ball,” age 88. He has a clear legitimate cornet tone, a nice way with slurs and bends and good phrasing. His wah-wah mute work, as on “Yellow Dog Blues,” is restrained and effective. If he overuses phrases made of falling chromatic seconds, it’s a miniscule flaw in his assured, swinging conception.

Reinhart also gives attractive straight readings of “Too Late Now” and “More Than You Know.” Clarinetist Kenny Davern, trombonist Dan Barrett and guitarist James Chirillo each provide fine solo moments. It’s a kick to hear Davern’s occasional allusions to Pee Wee Russell and Barrett’s to Jack Teagarden. Reinhart and pianist John Sheridan tackle “Weatherbird Rag” a la the Louis Armstrong-Earl Hines duet and pay it respectful homage. Frank Tate is the bassist, Tony DeNicola the drummer. This is a solid, engaging band.

Originally Published