David Ostwald’s Gully Low Jazz Band: Blues in Our Heart

Blues in Our Heart jets into a flying start with a heart-pounding version of Ellington’s “Jubilee Stomp.” It’s drummer Herlin Riley who sets the pace and then proceeds to slam into his solo like a man possessed. The Gully Low Jazz Band, the much-adored brainchild of tuba player David Ostwald, performs classic jazz of the ’20s and ’30s. It’s an unusual ensemble that changes in size and membership, the constant being Ostwald.

This edition of the band includes Ostwald, Riley, trumpeter Randy Sandke, trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, reedman Ken Peplowski, pianist Mark Shane and guitarist Howard Alden. All of the players have the goods to bring tunes like “New Orleans Stomp” alive. “Panama” is a true celebration in these capable hands, and “Blues in My Heart” a well-deserved respite from the fury. Wonderful tonal qualities created by the plunger-muted trumpet and trombone of Sandke and Gordon set off the slinky sway of the tune. Gordon also sings Armstrong’s “Don’t Forget to Mess Around” and plays mouthpiece-minus trombone-on “Who’s Sit.” The disc features the lovely classic “Home,” which begins beautifully with Alden’s sincere guitar, and segues into the toe-tapper “Diga Diga Doo.” George Avakian’s extremely comprehensive liner notes accompany the disc. Blues in Our Heart is a must-have album for fans of classic jazz.