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Dixieland Ramblers: On Campus (2004)

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Dixieland Ramblers: On Campus How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Dixieland never went out of style. Neither has college football. 'Tis the season to enjoy what you've always liked. With their fourth release on Summit Records, the Dixieland Ramblers swing with the kind of spirit that motivates college teams and gives us listeners a feel good attitude.

Notre Dame's fight song has never swung so hard. Whether the school's theme comes from the football field's marching band or from the back of a flatbed truck, it's a poignant melody. The Ramblers portray it with downtown New Orleans pizzazz.

Peter Hill surprises with a gentle piano trio rendition of Georgia Tech's fight song. Adapted for suave post-game functions, the mellow arrangement heard here warms the heart. "Far Above Cayuga's Waters," with its similar texture, gets turned around. With this one, trumpeter Kevin Clark turns loose a Dixieland tirade to allow the Ramblers to root for the home team forcefully. Indiana, Wisconsin, and Northwestern can claim similar support.

Featured on "Tiger Rag," Harry Watters steals the show with his superb trombone virtuosity. Tailgating and wailing passionately, he uses his horn to jump and shout, as any dedicated college football fan would. As his team scores touchdown after touchdown, he leads the Ramblers all over the field. They give this one a syncopated Dixieland flavor that swings from end to end. After this win, they're all going to Disneyland.

Track Listing: Across the Field; Go, U. Northwestern; Notre Dame Victory March; Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech; Tiger Rag; Indiana, Our Indiana; On Wisconsin; Washington and Lee Swing; The Sweetheart of Sigma Chi; The Wiffenpoof Song; Far Above Cayuga's Waters.

Personnel: Kevin Clark- trumpet; Michael Bennett- clarinet; Harry Watters- trombone; Peter Hill- piano; Ka Cheong Liu- bass; Chris Lamont- drums.

Style: Dixieland/New Orleans/Swing


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