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Albert Nicholas with the Art Hodes' All-Star Stompers: Albert's Back In Town

Mike Neely By

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In 1959, the renowned New Orleans clarinetist Albert Nicholas was visiting Chicago from his expatriate home of Paris when Delmark Records decided to make the best of the opportunity. Nicholas was joined in the studio by a hand picked band that become for the session Art Hodes’ All-Star Stompers. The band included the best that Chicago had to offer. It is an extraordinary band with Nappy Trottier on trumpet, and Floyd O’Brien on trombone. In addition to Hodes on piano, the first rate rhythm section includes Marty Grosz on guitar, Mike Walbridge on tuba, and Fred Kohlman on drums. This group of well- balanced soloists was obviously up for the session, the energy and enthusiasm is infectious. Albert’s Back In Town is reason to sit-up and notice - excellent jazz always is.

Fortunately for us, Delmark has successfully re-mastered the original release. The sound quality allows us to hear clearly the subtleties of the vigorous exchange between the soloists, and their interaction with the piano, guitar, tuba, and drums rhythm section. This band can play tightly woven polyphonic New Orleans style ensemble jazz or open out into a solo, swing, swap session; in either case, this is an upbeat, at times raucous recording. Nicholas and Trottier is an exciting match, interweaving and pushing each other throughout. Hodes and O’Brien toss in their concise, thoughtful solos and imaginative accompaniment while the whole band just keeps cooking. Highly recommended.

Track Listing: Farewell Blues; Fidgety Feet; Lulu's Back In Town; Creole Love Call; Shimme Sha Wabble; Sobbin' Blues; Runnin' Wild; How Long Blues; That's A Plenty; You Gotta See Your Mama Every Night; and 5 previously unissued alternate takes.

Personnel: Art Nicholas, clarinet; Nappy Trottier, trumpet; Floyd O'Brien, trombone; Art Hodes, piano; Marty Grosz, guitar; Mike Walbridge, tuba; and Fred Kohlman, drums.

| Record Label: Delmark Records | Style: Dixieland/New Orleans/Swing


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