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Ghost Train Orchestra: Hot Town

The only downside to listening to old jazz recordings from the 1920s is that they sound as though they were made in the 1920s. Brian Carpenter is making a career out of remedying that, and he continues his winning formula on Hot Town, the third album from his Ghost Train Orchestra.

The Boston-based trumpeter, arranger and bandleader leads his tight 10-member unit (plus two guests) through a quick dozen tunes steeped in the jazz’s earliest days in Harlem and Chicago. Aside from Fats Waller’s “Alligator Crawl,” these aren’t the best-known songs in the songbook, and the album is all the fresher for it. The opener, an original composition called “Hot Town,” is a riot-train jazz as its best. Harmonica, horns and strings combine to mimic the whistle, engine and bell of a steam locomotive before the band starts to swing.

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