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As a music critic, one must always try to have open ears, and appreciate music from different cultures, genres, and time periods. Also, one must recognize that a lot of hard work and money go into the making of a CD, and regardless of the artistic merit of the finished product, that effort should be commended. That being said, I must admit I don't like this record. The music on the disc is comprised mostly of old standards from the 20's and 30's, as performed by Eli Newberger on tuba and piano; Jimmy Mazzy on banjo and vocals, and Butch Thompson on piano and clarinet. Unfortunately, this group does little to add new vitality to these tunes, but rather does much to detract from them.
It's not the older material that I take exception to; There is plenty of great "old" music from 40 to 400 years ago. It's not the instrumentation either; fringe instruments like the banjo and tuba are important and capable of making viable music. It's just that the music on this disc sounds, well......quite silly, actually. Some of the pieces on this disc sound like they could be used as background music for the 60's t.v. show Green Acres. Many of the songs feature sudden loud outbursts from the musicians, apparently cheering each other on as they solo. Also, vocalist Jimmy Mazzy, who also plays banjo, sounds at times, like a delirious Elvis during his final days.
As Nick Clooney once said in regards to critics and reviews: "You're never as bad as they say you are, nor are you as good as they say you are." There is much merit to that saying, and I suppose that there are certain people ( George Segal, Woody Allen, or possibly the Sons of the Desert ) would enjoy listening to this CD. As for most serious jazz listeners, this CD should be considered non-essential.
Track Listing: It's A Sin To Tell A Lie; Little Pal; Oh Peter(You're So Nice); If I Let You Get Away With It Once(You'll Do It All Of The Time); I'm Just Wild About Harry; Put It Right There(Or Keep It Out There); Ain't Misbehavin'; Big Bad Bill; Old Fashioned Love; Ain't Much Good In The Best Of Men Now Days; I Hate Myself For Loving You; I've Found A New Baby; Sonny Boy; I Hate A Man Like You; There'll Be Some Changes Made; I Ain't Gonna Give Nobody None O' This; Jelly-Roll; Sweet Music; Miss Otis Regrets(She's Unable To Lunch Today); Everybody Loves My Baby(But My Baby Don't Love Nobody But Me); Aunt Hagar's Children; Doctor Jazz.
Personnel: Eli Newberger (tuba,piano); Jimmy Mazzy (banjo,vocals); Butch Thompson (piano,clarinet)