Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

291

Billy Butterfield & Andy Bartha: Take Me to the Land of Jazz

By

Sign in to view read count
The annals of jazz are full of figures like Andy Bartha and Billy Butterfield. Solid horn players with long, respectable careers as sidemen, they remained on the fringes of popular attention, occasionally brushing greatness but never attaining that status themselves.

Butterfield came close, playing trumpet alongside Bob Crosby, Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman in the swing era. His stint with Shaw included a classic solo on the latter's 1940 recording of "Stardust," as well as time in Shaw's groundbreaking Gramercy 5 combo. But his solo career never managed to capitalize on those early successes. Bartha came up during the 1940s Dixieland revival and spent ten years playing with Pee Wee Hunt. Bartha eventually retired to Florida, where he assembled a veteran band that recorded four albums for the Art Records label in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Take Me To The Land of Jazz is a hard-stomping traditional jazz disc that collects material from two of the Art LPs. The first ten tracks feature Butterfield and Bartha together fronting a nonet, while the remainder of the disc is by Bartha's 1969 octet. Both bands were recorded live at gigs in Fort Lauderdale.

Bartha's warm cornet tone is endearingly gruff, a quality mirrored both by Butterfield and by Ed Hubble's energetic trombone. But the most vibrant voice in the opening tracks is clarinetist Larry Wilson, whose well-lubricated swing defies the stiffness of the rhythm section. Butterfield, despite his top billing, doesn't have much to do until "Basin Street Blues," which he seizes with vigor. His slurring lines, full of sudden swoops and stabs, tell the story of a veteran who's seen it all and has plenty to say about it. "St. Louis Blues" goes one better as the entire band loosens up for an inspired jam.

The 1969 tracks have an entirely different feel. Here the rhythm section, using a banjo instead of guitar, provides a breezy flow largely absent from the Butterfield session. The entire band shows great verve in these five cuts, but bass saxophonist John Dengler seems to benefit the most, turning out a series of quick-paced, impeccably melodic solos.

Delmark Records is to be commended for rescuing these sides from obscurity and giving Bartha and Butterfield another day in the sun.


Track Listing: Dese, Dem & Dose; That's a Plenty; Mama's Gone Goodbye; Basin Street Blues; High Society; St. Louis Blues; Sugar Blues; Original Dixieland One-Step; St. James Infirmary Blues; Dixie; Take Me to the Land of Jazz; Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gave To Me; Memphis Blues; Milenberg Joys; Careless Love.

Personnel: Billy Butterfield: trumpet; Andy Bartha: cornet; Ed Hubble: tombone, baritone sax (1-10); Ray Brooks: trombone (11-15); Larry Wilson: clarinet; John Dengler: bass saxophone; Bob Warren: piano (1-10); Billy "Fats" Hagen (11-15); Chuck Karle: bass; Red Rasele: guitar (1-10); Larry Schram: banjo (11-15); Chuck Damanti: drums (1-10); Carl Peticca: drums (11-15).

Title: Take Me to the Land of Jazz | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Delmark Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read The Influencing Machine CD/LP/Track Review The Influencing Machine
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Presence CD/LP/Track Review Presence
by Geannine Reid
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read "Blue Maqams" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Maqams
by John Kelman
Published: October 13, 2017
Read "Storm" CD/LP/Track Review Storm
by Jim Olin
Published: September 17, 2017
Read "Synchronic" CD/LP/Track Review Synchronic
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 25, 2017
Read "Mission Cimbalom" CD/LP/Track Review Mission Cimbalom
by Geannine Reid
Published: September 7, 2017
Read "Story Tellers" CD/LP/Track Review Story Tellers
by Duncan Heining
Published: August 26, 2017
Read "Sunset" CD/LP/Track Review Sunset
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 9, 2017