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Live Reviews

Heirs Swing Jazz In Louis Armstrong's Shadow

By Published: March 13, 2004
"Heebie Jeebies", Wynton announces and Bob Wilber stands up for the first clarinet solo, his black eyeglasses silhouetted against his pale face and blond hair, Wycliffe acts cute during his vocal, three trumpets, one part like trombones, one like a clarinet and a high trumpet part WM comments, "that scares us away from playing his music". On "Wild Man Blues"he played his solo while slowly walking from behind the sax section to in front of the banjo and upright bassist Rodney Whitaker, magnificently establishing the drama inherent in this early Armstrong title. Bob Wilber's rarely heard low register chalameau clarinet solo is surprisingly continued by clarinetist Victor Goines, surprising the audience. As they trade segments, we hear the differences between the classical Bob Wilber sound and the earlier New Orleans clarinet sound played by Victor but when they blend so beautifully they're reminiscent of Bob's partnership with clarinetist Kenny Davern.

I particularly liked Wycliffe Gordon's double muted plunger solo as he "talked" the words to "Momma don't allow no trombone playing in here", during the opening of the traditional "When The Saints Go Marching In". All are having fun, Joe Temperley gets off an exuberant baritone saxophone solo, Don Vappie syncopates his banjo solo before all the band sings except Bob Wilber, whose clarinet is heard soaring above it all.

After such a performance I want some of Pops red beans 'n' rice followed by a healthy dose of herbal Swiss Kris and more sweet New Orleans swing jazz!

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