Kevin Clark: New Orleans Trumpet

In New Orleans, one might hear a musician playing traditional jazz, modern jazz and R&B gigs all in one day. Likewise, Crescent City artists have been known to mix up these styles in a single set or tune. Knowing one’s audience is crucial, and endeavoring to please “everyone” can backfire. What may work in a live setting is often more difficult to pull off on a recording. Trumpeter Kevin Clark runs up against these problems on New Orleans Trumpet. It’s an album that moves from “Tin Roof Blues” to “When You Wish Upon a Star,” while offering an equally unlikely blend of Latin, boogie-woogie, honky-tonk and modern flavors to “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.” It’s too bad, because when the musicians come to the surface during solo slots, it’s apparent there’s lots of talent here. Clarinetist Evan Christopher’s warm tone is appreciated on “Tin Roof Blues,” while “Bourbon Street Parade” gets a kick from the sousaphone of Matt Perrine. Pianist Tom McDermott brings a Professor Longhair flair to his own “Martin’s Mambo.” As producer, Clark also should have realized that his own trumpet was too high in the mix. This album might sell well off a bandstand following a lively gig, but it doesn’t offer a specific reason to be sought out.