Barney Bigard is one of the outstanding jazz clarinetists of the twentieth century. His bluesy, sensual tone and extraordinary agility graced the albums of the King Oliver, and Jelly Roll Morton before he became Duke Ellington’s regular clarinetist from 1927 to 1942. To top off this incredible career, after the second world war he became Louis Armstrong’s clarinetist from 1947 to 1956. Few musician’s could point to as illustrious a line of employers.
Bigard was in demand partially because of his expressive voice that deftly spanned the wide range of the clarinet. Whether he was playing at the high or ...read more
On the occasion of these sessions Ellington alum Bigard and Hodes, one of the most of revered proponents of classic New Orleans inspired jazz found themselves thrown together for the taping of a series of television concerts. Seizing the opportunity to make several sidetrips to the studio the two recorded the baker’s dozen of tracks collected on this disc with two small combos ideally suited to their brand of traditional swinging jazz. The resulting music wasn’t in league with either man’s best work but still demonstrated that each could still play with the passion and focus that solidified their place ...read more
This session, recorded in Chicago in January 1968, teams two acknowledged masters of New Orleans–style classic Jazz with a well–endowed supporting cast (bassist Rails, drummer Deems) and, on half a dozen tracks, a brace of accomplished guests, trombonist George Brunis and trumpeter Nap Trottier. Two of those tracks are alternate takes (“Tin Roof Blues,” “Bye and Bye”) which extend the playing time from its original LP–length to nearly an hour. While none of the songs will be unfamiliar to partisans of the genre, they are no less well–played and enjoyable. Bigard, whose bright, clear tone and remarkable technique placed him ...read more