Franz Jackson & the Salty Dogs: Yellow Fire
Jackson, who was nearing his 90th birthday at the time of the recording meshes smoothly with the Salty Dog ensemble sound favoring a throaty tenor tone and a singing sound on soprano. The tunes are a mixed bag of familiar New Orleans favorites and Jackson originals with an emphasis on growling, expressive horns and bouncing rhythms fueled by buoyant traps work, tight banjo and booming brass bass. Collective soloing and polyphony form the crux of many of the arrangements and song lengths are kept succinct. Jackson’s originals prove the most intriguing compositionally with subtle and often inventive shifts in rhythm and time adding spice to the otherwise conventional program. Hints of early Cotton Club era Ellingtonia creep up in Jackson’s own “Zuddan” and “Southside” barrels forward on a brusquely shuffling rhythm. Jackson’s gruff vocals crop up on numerous occasions with sweet-voiced Carol Leigh guesting on “I Can’t Believe That You’re In Love With Me.” While there’s not all that much to distinguish this date from other reunions organized by Delmark in the past it still delivers a rollicking, if predictable repast for fans of traditional jazz.
Track Listing: Dippermouth Blues/ Lulu
Personnel: Lew Green- cornet; Bob Neighbor- trumpet; Tom Bartlett- trombone; Kim Cusack- clarinet, alto saxophone; Franz Jackson- tenor & soprano saxophones, vocals; John Cooper- piano; Mike Walbridge- tuba; Jack Kuncl, banjo; Wayne Jones- drums; Carol Leigh- vocals. Recorded: October 12 & 13, 2000, Chicago, IL.
Record Label: Delmark Records
Style: Dixieland/New Orleans/Swing