The Jazz Crusade Audio Sampler Catalog
JCCD-3003: Big Bill Bissonnette & the Easy Riders Jazz Band -
'Rhythm Is Our Business'

Personnel:  Big Bill Bissonnette (tb,v), Paul Boehmke (rds,v), Bob Shallue (pn), Bill Sinclair (pn), Jim Tutunjian (sbs,v), Bob Lasprogato (dm)

Songs: Perdido St. Blues, Short Dress Gal, Sweet Mama, Shreveport Stomp, The Mooche, Bring It On Home to Grandma, Love Songs of the Nile, Apex Blues, Get Out of Here, Black Gal You Better Watch Your Step, Big Chief Battle-Ax, The Bells of St. Mary's, Rockin' N' Rhythm, I'll Take the South, Someday Sweetheart, Rhythm is Our Business, Black Cat Moan, Running Wild.

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Reviews for:
JCCD--3003: Big Bill Bissonnette & the Easy Riders Jazz Band -
'Rhythm Is Our Business'

Geoff Boxell's Jazz Website - New Zealand

Jazz crusade seem to delight in recording bands with unusual line-ups. This one has Big Bill Bissonnette on trombone, Paul Bochmke on reeds, either Bob Shallue or Bill Sinclair on piano, Jim Tutunjian on bass and Bob Lasprogato on drums. Where's the horn? There ain't one! Have you ever heard the lead on 'Perdido St Blues' being played by a trombone rather than a trumpet? No? Well get this CD and see just how well it works. I was amazed, stunned and amazed, amazed and stunned. Big Bill and his Jazz Crusade label always stretches your understanding of traditional jazz, and yet does it in an entertaining and non threatening manner. Match Bissonnet's rasping raucous trombone with Bochmke's inventive reed playing and you have a very interesting combination. Whilst the back-line is good, it is the reduced front-line that grabs your ear and won't let go. Big Bill reckons that the band wanted to 'play' with jazz tunes in the New Orleans idiom, but in new ways. Well they sure did that, and they sound as if they had fun doing it. I sure had fun listening to them.
- Geoff Boxell


Jazz Rag - New Zealand

An American CD featuring Big Bill Bissonnette and his new "Easy Riders Jazz Band." With 18 tracks and a running time of some 71 minutes and 56 seconds, value for the money in terms of recording time seems to be a part of the Jazz Music scene. Recorded in 1985/6 in Walling-ford, Connecticut and issued on the Jazz Crusade label, the quality of recording is very good. The music is representative of all the traditional favorites including: The Mooche, Apex Blues, Sweet Mama, Perdido St. Blues, Big Chief Battle Axe, I'll Take the South, Black Cat Moan and several other titles, many of which I have not previously heard. Some of the names of the musicians involved with the making of this CD are unfamiliar to me. However, readers are assured that they are all good!
Musicianship is high and I would like to hear more recordings. In general, the style of jazz is decidedly "traditional" though somewhat polished whilst not quite "commercial." I must confess to preferring the "old" Easy Riders band with all the rough edges. Big Bill still punches out the melody with his bone. Strongly recommended good, hard-driving jazz which includes little heard numbers. My favorite track was Black Gal, You Better Watch Your Step.
- Terry Offord


West Coast Rag - U. S. A.

The 1985-86 edition of trombonist Big Bill Bissonnette's Easy Riders Jazz band contained a number of tasty ingredients, as demonstrated on this CD of Uptown New Orleans-oriented jazz; a novel instrumentation of reed, trombone, piano, bass and drums; a wide-ranging, interesting book of jazz standards, pops, Ellingtonia, hokum, obscurities and other worthies; a fine, agile soloist in Paul Boehmke, who ably doubles clarinet and soprano and tenor saxophones; nicely-voiced, fertile charts, comfortably executed; a zestful, rough and ready, infectious approach; a lowdown, back-roomy, barrel-housey mood. JCCD-3003 keeps its head well above water. Four stars.
- Tex Wyndham


Playbacks: - U.S.A.

The album was recorded with the Riders original engineer Michael Fast brought in to ensure that the sound quality would rival that of the group's landmark 60's sessions. The result is superb, passionate jazz in the grand early style. New Orleans music, when performed well, emphasizes the beauty of collective participation and tight themic unity. Instead of expressive, lengthy solos, this music pivots on the exchanges between Bissonnette on trombone, Paul Boehmke on clarinet, soprano and tenor saxes, and painist Bob Shallue, and also features very strong support from bassist Jim Tutunjian and drummer Bob Lasprogato. One of the trademarks of the Easy Riders sound which comes across strikingly on this album is the band's ability to adapt to the New Orleans style songs not usually performed in that vein. This time around, material includes rare Duks-Ellington numbers like Sweet Mama and The Mooche and a Jelly Roll Morton piece Shreveport Stomp initially performed by the brilliant Omer Simeon and this time done capably by Boehmke. Other composers presented include Jimmy Noone and Kid Ory.
Hearing this music performed at this juncture proves especially instructive because of its relationship to the neo-classical movement now so prominent in contemporary jazz. Sucj people as David Murray, Arthur Blythe and Billy Bang are now closely scrutinizing this type of music, and the warm melodies and exuberant performances of the Easy Riders are hypnotic, whether you like or dislike traditional New Orleans music.
- Ron Wynn


Mississippi Rag - U.S.A.

Bill Bissonnette! The very name conjures up warm memories of the mid 1960s when I was a college freshman eager for the latest New Orleans jazz releases and Big Bill was obliging us with seemingly monthly releases on his Jazz Crusade label. The Easy Riders themselves have now reappeared on this album. The Easy Riders of the 1960s were strictly a New Orleans Revival band, looking no farther than Preservation Hall for their inspiration. The Bill Bissonnette of the 1980s believes that both the music of the Revival and that of the earlier days has validity; thus he has recorded an eclectic album drawing material from the repetoires of Duke Ellington, Johnny Dodds, Billie Pierce, Sam Morgan, the Harlem Hamfats, Tiny Parham, Jimmy Lunceford and Kid Ory. The Easy Riders here comprise five pieces. They generate enough heat that I heard the album through once before I realized that there was no trumpet in the group. It's nice to have Big Bill Bissonnette back on the scene. While he is not the greatest trombonist to hit the jazz scene in the last 20 years, he can hold his own quite nicely with anyone else on the scene today and he has produced an enjoyable album which lovers of New Orleans jazz of all eras should seek out.
- Paige Van Vorst


Jazz Journal International - British Jazz Magazine

Bissonnette is a New Orleans inspired leader and trombonist who led a revivalist band in the days of the trad boom. After a long spell in what he describes as the desert, he tried again in the eighties playing a melange of New Orleans associated material which was not commercially successful, perhaps because its repertoire was not easily pigeonholed. These recordings stem from that era and offer an eclectic mixture of influences and styles. , A loose easy-riding approach to music-making is reflected in the band's name. The powerful trombone of the leader is complemented by an adaptable Boehmke who also sings on Bring It On Home. The leader's earthy vocal on his own Black Gal is a down and dirty blues, underpinned by salty tenor licks from Boehmke. There's a stately reading of Duke's Rockin' In Rhythm to contrast with an almost straight faced version of The Bells Of St. Mary's. A rare variety of music played with honesty and reflecting the unflinching individualistic nature of the leader.
- Eddie Blackwell


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