All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 (or more) and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help

291

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

Forrest Dylan Bryant By
Published:
Sign in to view read count
Billy Butterfield & Andy Bartha: Take Me to the Land of Jazz 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).

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Delmark Records | Style: Dixieland/New Orleans/Swing


Shop For Jazz

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Take Me to the Land of Jazz
Take Me to the Land...
Delmark Records
2006
buy
[no cover]
Watch What Happens
Victor
1986
buy
[no cover]
The Uncollected Billy...
Victor
1981
buy
[no cover]
In A Mellow Tone
Victor
1972
buy
[no cover]
Where's That Barefoot...
Victor
1966
buy
[no cover]
Wonderland By Night
Victor
1962
buy
Hank Crawford Hank Crawford
sax, alto
Ken Peplowski Ken Peplowski
clarinet
Guy Lombardo Guy Lombardo
composer/conductor
Doc Severinsen Doc Severinsen
trumpet
Dick Haymes
vocalist
Claude Thornhill Claude Thornhill
vocalist

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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