219

Barney Bigard & Art Hodes: Barney Bigard & Art Hodes: Bucket's Got A Hole In It

Mike Neely By

Sign in to view read count
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 the low extreme Bigard’s playing escaped the hollow virtuosity of so many jazz musicians. The same could be said for his ability to play expressively at very slow and fast tempos. Bigard’s emotional attunement was inseparable from his sound: a clarinet voice that was consistently attractive to the very best bandleaders in the business.

Add to Bigard the superbly attentive musicianship of pianist Art Hodes, and a relaxed band that sounds like they’ve been playing together for years, and you’ve got a recording that is a continual listening pleasure. Bucket’s Got A Hole In It gracefully mixes blues, New Orleans, and swing approaches in an intimate small group style associated with the classic swing groups of the 1930’s through the 50’s.

Art Hodes has kept some impressive company over the years too. His recordings for Blue Note with Sidney Bechet and Albert Nicholas are famous traditional sessions. So, in 1968 when Bigard and Hodes were brought together to record by a television station in Chicago anticipation was in the air. It is hard to believe that anyone could have been disappointed by this selection of standards, blues, and traditional tunes. Both Bigard and Hodes can slide effortlessly from one style or another and back. It’s especially interesting to hear them play on “C Jam Blues” and to hear Hodes bluesy, barrelhouse interpretation of Ellington’s piano alongside Bigard’s extended solo that soars and swoops like a blues inspired swallow.

It should be pointed out that on half the cuts the core band is expanded with the addition of two excellent traditional musicians – Nap Trottier on trumpet and George Brunis on trombone. They bring a fuller New Orleans sound to the mix. In addition, the versatile rhythm team of Rail Wilson on bass and Barrett Deems on drums is responsible for much of the living room feel of this wonderfully vibrant recording. The interplay between Bigard and Hodes alone is worth the price of admission.

Tracks:Bucket’s Got A Hole In It; Sweet Lorraine; Hesitating Blues; Tin Roof Blues; Lover Come Back To Me; Sensation Rag; Makin’ Whoopee; Three Little Words; Bye and Bye; Nitty Gritty; C Jam Blues.

Personnel: Barney Bigard, clarinet; Art Hodes, piano; Rail Wilson, bass; Barrett Deems, drums; Nap Trottier, trumpet; and George Brunis, trombone.

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


Shop

More Articles

Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Get 'Em CD/LP/Track Review Get 'Em
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Radioactive Landscapes EP CD/LP/Track Review Radioactive Landscapes EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 24, 2017
Read The Many Minds of Richie Cole CD/LP/Track Review The Many Minds of Richie Cole
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: April 24, 2017
Read LifeCycle CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Cloud Illusions" CD/LP/Track Review Cloud Illusions
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 7, 2016
Read "Jazz Jukebox" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Jukebox
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "Oddara" CD/LP/Track Review Oddara
by James Nadal
Published: October 15, 2016
Read "Blue Skylight" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Skylight
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 5, 2017
Read "Dyad Plays Jazz Arias" CD/LP/Track Review Dyad Plays Jazz Arias
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 12, 2016
Read "Flowers" CD/LP/Track Review Flowers
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 19, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!