How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Kid Thomas was72 when he took his Algiers Band into Moose Hall in Stamford, CT. The performance was recorded but languished in the vaults of the Connecticut Jazz Club for more than 32 years. Shame on somebody. But happily Bill Bissonnette's enterprising Jazz Crusade label found them and this CD is the first of a multi volume release. Thomas was a master of lyricism and could create novel sounds from the instrument. Listen to his work on "Kid Thomas Boogie Woogie". Thomas also developed a unique muted trumpet style which is put on display on "Blueberry Hill" and vocal fun with "Eh! Le Bas".
Kid Thomas is not the only star on this album. Trombonist Louis Nelson, who has been with Thomas since 1944, gets the lion's share of solo time. Maybe Thomas wasn't feeling well that night. Nelson delights the crowd with rhapsodic solos on "Blueberry Hill" and "The Object of My Affection" and a mournful "Just a Closer Walk with Thee". Along with Nelson, the sweet sounding tenor sax of Manny Paul is conspicuous throughout the session. Although never quite reaching the prominence of the clarinet in trad New Orleans music, it was nevertheless a major instrument in these aggregations as the reed instrument of choice for ballads. Coleman Hawkins expanded the parameters of the instrument, but he didn't invent it.
Another factor which separates this CD from other albums devoted to this music is the presence of a number of ballads (as distinguished from slow drags) reminding us that these traditional New Orleans groups were equally at home with sweet ballads as with the hot stuff. Recommended.
Track Listing: Walk Through the Streets of the City; Introduction Blues; Algiers Strut; Blueberry Hill; Eh! Las Bas*; Sweet Sue; Four Leaf Clover**; Just a Closer Walk with Thee; The Object of My Affection; Kid Thomas Boogie Woogie
Personnel: Kid Thomas Valentine - Trumpet/Vocal*; Manny Paul - Tenor Sax; Louis Nelson - Trombone; Charlie Hamilton - Piano; Joseph "Twat" Butler - Bass/Vocal**; Sammy Penn - Drums; J. P. "Pete" Campbell - Announcements