Norie Cox & His New Orleans Stompers featuring Butch Thompson: Live at Illiana (2002)
'Excellently traditional in every way,' a friend of mine said to me as I was listening to Live at Illiana for this review. She's not anywhere close to being a fan of Jazz, yet she picked up on the essence of the album's main thrust: a clear delivery of dolid New Orleans Jazz. This is the kind of music that led me to this site, and the stuff that fills my days when I'm not around my day job in radio.
This project is the live performance given by Norrie Cox and his New Orleans Stompers at the Glendora Ridge Ballroom in Chicago Ridge, IL in October 2001. The session featured pianist Butch Thompson, who is well known for his twelve-year stint as pianist and bandleader on public radio's "A Prairie Home Companion.' Thompson's seamless fit into the group's New Orleans sound is a testament to his abilities.
The music on this album is, to my ears, very Preservation Hall-ish. I saw the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in concert about a year ago, and it was my first introduction to New Orleans Jazz. I have been hooked since, and this album fits right into my 'favorites' category. Recordings of live music have a different quality from studio records. The timing is easy to catch in live performance, where there is no editing, nor are there any overdubs. This album is a keeper for any New Orleans Jazz enthusiast.
Track Listing: Weary Blues; How Long, How Long Blues; Mobile Stomp; Mabel's Dream; Exactly Like You; The Crave; She Looks Like Helen Brown; Just a Closer Walk With Thee; Krooked Blues; In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree
Personnel: Norrie Cox, Clarinet; Charlie DeVore, Cornet; Jim Klippert, Trombone; Butch Thompson, Piano; Mike Carrell, Banjo; Bill Evans, Bass; Donald "Boogie" Berg, Drums