108

Percy Humphrey with the Crescent City Joymakers: Climax Rag

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
They didn’t call trumpeter Humphrey’s New Orleans–based sextet the “Joymakers” for nothing. These gentlemen clearly had a lot of fun making music together. This session, recorded in 1965, is awash in foot–tapping trad Jazz from one end to the other. As such, the emphasis throughout is on interplay among the various members of the ensemble rather than individual improvisation, although there is some of that too, especially from Humphrey, the eminent clarinetist Albert Burbank and trombonist Jim Robinson. Things don’t always sound tight and rehearsed, but that’s the way New Orleans music should be played. Rest assured that everyone knows what he is doing. But this may not please every listener, as it is “authentic” early Jazz rather than the more “sanitized” versions that are often heard nowadays. In other words, it can be quite raw and rough around the edges. Enthusiasm and musicianship thus carry the day in a program of blues, ballads and shuffles most of whose titles (“Yes, Sir, That’s My Baby!,” “When I Grow Too Old to Dream,” “Fidgety Feet,” “Old Folks at Home,” “San”) will be quite familiar to those who appreciate trad Jazz. It’s fun too to hear someone (perhaps Humphrey) “stomp off” — that is, give the time signature by vigorously tapping his shoes on the floor two or three times. Playing time is a respectable 65:26, thanks to the inclusion of eight alternate takes (the only songs not reprised are “Take Your Burden to the Lord” and an impromptu rendering of “Happy Birthday”). Gladsome music that’s a pleasure to hear.

Track listing: Climax Rag; Yes, Sir, That’s My Baby; When I Grow Too Old to Dream; Take Your Burden to the Lord; Fidgety Feet; The Old Spinning Wheel; Old Folks at Home (Swanee River); Savoy Blues; San; Happy Birthday; Yes, Sir, That’s My Baby; When I Grow Too Old to Dream (alt.); Swanee River (alt.); Savoy Blues (alt.); San (alt.); Fidgety Feet (alt.); Old Spinning Wheel (alt.); Climax Rag (alt.) (65:26).


Personnel:

Percy Humphrey, trumpet; Jim Robinson, trombone; Albert Burbank, clarinet; George Guesnon, banjo; Alcide

Title: Climax Rag | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Delmark Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Signal 9 CD/LP/Track Review Signal 9
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 22, 2017
Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Syzygy" CD/LP/Track Review Syzygy
by Paul Rauch
Published: March 6, 2017
Read "Illegal Crowns" CD/LP/Track Review Illegal Crowns
by John Sharpe
Published: December 10, 2016
Read "Eleven Cages" CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Someone Else" CD/LP/Track Review Someone Else
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 27, 2017
Read "Jazz Marathon 2" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Marathon 2
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 20, 2017
Read "Serenade for Horace" CD/LP/Track Review Serenade for Horace
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: October 11, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.