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English clarinetist Brian Carrick and his countrymen pay tribute to New Orleans jazz legend Kid Thomas Valentine by borrowing the name of Valentine's group, the Algiers Stompers for 70 minutes of traditional New Orleans jazz. Algiers, now absorbed into New Orleans, was once a separate city with its own tradition and Kid Thomas Valentine was an integral part of it. Alternating between exuberance and poignancy Carrick's group lends their talents to 17 tunes running the spectrum from familiar New Orleans tunes such as "Mama Inez", to those not normally associated with New Orleans such as "Springtime in the Rockies". Irrespective of the source, every cut has the feel of traditional jazz. Although Brian Carrick is the leader, it's the trombone of Chas Hudson that comes out on top. If a trombone can be sweet, Hudson comes as close you can get on "Springtime in the Rockies". Similarly the talking trombone opening to "Love Letters in the Sand" sets the tone for everyone who follows. Muted trumpet by Derek Winters helps make this track one of the album's favorites. Hudson and Carrick work together beautifully on "I Don't See Me in Your Eyes Anymore". Recognizing the important role old time religion played in New Orleans music, "Pass Me Not Oh Gentle Saviour" made the play list. Everyone has a lot of fun with "It's Only a Paper Moon" where Carrick's clarinet takes on the role it played in New Orleans jazz, playing counter to the melody line which is carried here by Derek Winters.
These exceptional musicians from across the ocean are further proof why this type of jazz will likely live as long as jazz is played. Recommended.
Track Listing: You Don't Understand; East Coast Trot; Riverside Blues; Everywhere You Go; It Happened in Bali Bali**; Let the Great Big World Keep Turning; It's Only a Paper Moon; I Don't See Me in Your Eyes Anymore; Over the Waves; Springtime in the Rockies; Crying Time*; Mama Inez; Anytime; Pass Me Not Oh Gentle Saviour; Love Letters in the Sand; Dreamy Mood of Indiana (Algiers Waltz); Who's Sorry Now
Personnel: Brian Carrick - Reeds/Vocals*; Derek Winters - Trumpet/Vocals**; Chas Hudson - Trombone; Mike Lunn - Piano; Mike Cox - Banjo; Bill Cole - Bass; Guy Fenton - Drums