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Kenny Davern: A Night with Eddie Condon presents a live performance that really sounds like a live performance, and that’s a rarity. The music is all around you like you’re listening from a table a few feet from the stage: you can hear the stage banter, the audience around you, and the cymbals tinging right above you. This disc was taken from a reel-to-reel recording of a 1971 concert in Syracuse, New York. The sound is surprisingly good, even the bass and drums come in sharp and clear. Few live jazz performances convey the feeling of being in attendance as this one; it will be a find for a musical historian a couple of hundred years from now. I can hear it now: " So, this is what a traditional jazz performance was like."
The Eddie Condon All Stars featuring Kenny Davern on clarinet and soprano sax was the musical event of the evening, and an event it was. This was a good band on a good night, a group of musicians having a great time playing together. A solid rhythm section and a couple of excellent soloists highlight the performance. Kenny Davern on clarinet plays a soulful, agile clarinet and Bernie Privin plays an outgoing, vigorous trumpet; these two trade off spotlight solos all night. The lineup of tunes includes such old favorites as "Muskrat Ramble," "Royal Garden Blues," and "Ain’t Misbehavin." This is traditional jazz played with heart by musicians who gracefully convey what traditional jazz is all about.
Track Listing: At the Jazz Band Ball; Rosetta; Royal Garden Blues; Ain