400

George Lewis: Hello Central

Derek Taylor By

Sign in to view read count
New Orleans jazz doesn’t get much more authentic than George Lewis and his New Orleans Stompers’ faithfully rendered brand of traditional merry-making. Lewis and his colleagues recorded dozens of albums in dozens of settings, but their sound always remained at the root incorruptible and in its own sweet way sentimentally ecstatic. This reissue is no different and the session, taped at the NBC studios in San Francisco, visits the Stompers in seminal form with the added bonus of clean fidelity.

Most of the program is comprised of old chestnuts the septet played innumerable times, but it’s no less refreshing to hear them rip through them yet again. Spirituals and blues form the crux. The slow drag melancholy introduction of “Just A Closer Walk With Thee” is given an unusually long reading before the inevitable shift into overdrive signaled by Purnell’s bright segue and Watkins’ bouncing sticks. Pavageau’s rock bottom bass slaps ground “Doctor Jazz” in some heavy blues and the horns use the center as pole to swing around. Lewis’ light and sassy line weaves with Howard’s muted trills on “Jerusalem Blues” as again Pavageau delivers tensile rhythmic support in tandem with Marrero’s brittle strums. Robinson’s tailgate smears hold the line on the greasy rundown of the risqué “Ain’t Gonna Give Nobody None of My Jelly Roll” and Lewis’ singing affirmations snake around the loose ensemble patterns creating lively counterpoint. The trombonist also turns in gruff and growling gutbucket turn on the band’s version of the classic “Tin Roof Blues,” barking out a series of gnarled shouts guaranteed to strip the rust off any sheet of corrugated siding.

Rightfully lauded as legends Lewis and his band mates share a special place in the pantheon of New Orleans jazz. As such an incredible amount of material survives as testament to their stature, some of it inevitable suspect in terms of quality and focus. Even the greatest bands in the world have their off nights. Fortunately this reissue is reflective of the Stomper’s reliable and is filled with the level of music on which their lasting reputations were built.

Delmark on the web: http://www.delmark.com


Track Listing: Lord, Lord, You Certainly Been Good To Me/ Dallas Blues/ Swanee River/ Just A Closer Walk With Thee/ Doctor Jazz/ Jerusalem Blues/ Ain

Personnel: Kid Howard- trumpet; Jim Robinson- trombone; George Lewis- clarinet; Alton Purnell- piano; Lawrence Marrero; Alcide

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


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Celebrating Elvin Jones" CD/LP/Track Review Celebrating Elvin Jones
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 11, 2016
Read "Tuesday Prayers" CD/LP/Track Review Tuesday Prayers
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 29, 2016
Read "Flowers" CD/LP/Track Review Flowers
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 19, 2016
Read "Endemic Ensemble: Tangled" CD/LP/Track Review Endemic Ensemble: Tangled
by Paul Rauch
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "Invisible Man" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Man
by Anthony Shaw
Published: June 2, 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!

Buy it!