The Jazz Crusade Audio Sampler Catalog
JCCD-3026: Louis Nelson/Alton Purnell with Dave Brennan's Jazzmen

Personnel:  Louis Nelson, Pat O'Brian [tb], Alton Purnell [pn], Dave Brennan [bn], Bugs Burgon [tp], Martin Boyd, Dick Douthwaite [rds], Brian Tumock [sbs], Terry Kennedy [dm]

Songs:  [w/Nelson] Wait Til the Sun Shines Nellie, When You & I Were Young Maggie, Release Me, Marie, Over There, Wang Wang Blues, Chinaboy, Someday Sweetheart, South of the Border, Let Me Call You Sweetheart [w/Purnell] Alton's Boogie, Original Dixie Jass Band One-Step, I'm Putting All My Eggs In One Basket, Sensation, I Want A Little Girl, Sweet Georgia Brown, Medley: I Want You, I Need You; Until the Real Thing Comes Along, Climax Rag.

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Reviews for:
JCCD-3026: Louis Nelson/Alton Purnell with Dave Brennan's Jazzmen

IAJRC Journal - U. S. A.

Two famous New Orleans jazz musicians are featured on this recording. The common denominator between the two sessions is the group known as Dave Brennan's Jazz Band. They support well both Nelson & Purnell, who do not play together on any of the tunes.
The Nelson renditions are a bit disappointing, not because of his playing, which is exceptional on many of his solos, but in the poor balance due to the misplacement of one or more mikes. Since Nelson is being featured, his trombone is louder than the other instruments, even when he is playing accompaniement to someone else's solo or melodic lead. Over There, that great George M. Cohen tune from World War 1, is performed very well by Nelson and the group who give it a jazz flavor.
Purnell displays a great left hand on Alton's Boogie and he takes an exceptional solo on the "Original Dixie Jass Band One-Step." He and the frontliners provide excellent accompaniement to his vocal on I'm Putting All My Eggs In One Basket. He sings splendidly on I Want A Little Girl. The audio balance on the Purnel tracks is much better than that on Nelson's
This recording, especially the Alton Purnel renditions is mostly for fans of jazz that was performed in New Orleans in the early 1970s.
- George Borgman


Jazz Journal - U.K.

Louis Nelson & Alton Purnell were both frequent & welcome visitors to this country & the recordings from those occasions are a welcome reminder of a time when the local scene could still benefit from the presence of the authentic experts of the New Orleans style. As experts go, these two were about as fine as any, and they were also notable for their ability and willingness to join in with the local lads. Fellow feeling, both musical & personal, resulted in some very good times indeed, with the hosts often inspired to rise above themselves. Dave Brennan had an excellent little band, & here the euphoria is well under controll to the music's advantage. Both visitors are entirely themselves, well integrated well into the band but with their distinctive musical personalities clearly in evidence, & this issue will be more than welcome to their many admirirers. These are studio recordings and the sound quality is fine.
- Christopher Hillman


Jazz Rag - U. K.

Louis Nelson/Alton Purnell comes from two mid-1970s LPs made semi-privately I gather with Dave Brennan's Jazzmen. The tracks with Louis Nelson shatter a few preconceptions about New Orleans jazz trombone: Nelson plays a lot of lead, with a smooth legato and a nice burry tone, as well as tailgating away in the ensembles. His choice of material steers well clear of the traditional marches, rags blues and hvmns in favor of good old songs like: Wait Til the Sun Shines Nellie, Marie, etc. PumelFs robust piano offers a few surprises but his vocals on such as I Want A Little Girl and Until the Real Thing Comes Along are fine. The Brennan give committed and vigorous support.
- Ron Simpson


Mississippi Rag - U. S. A.

The Louis Nelson material on this CD was previously released in a very limited edition on LP and, of course, has been out of print for ihany years. Presumably the same applies to the Purnell session, though the liner notes do not specifically say so. At any rate, the recording dates were close together: January 1975 for Nelson and November 1974 for Purnell, during separate short tours of England with Dave Brennan's Jazzmen.
Louis Nelson, a strong, suave and versatile trombonist, was a veteran New Orleans jazzman with the Original Tuxedo Orchestra, Kid Rena, Sidney Desvigne, and Kid Thomas. For years he was a regular at Preservation Hall. In great demand, he recorded with just about any New Orleans musician you can think of, and touredextensively in his later years.
Dave Brennan's Jazzmen are a typical English trad band, which is to say that they have idolized the black veterans of New Orleans music, and have appropriated their style rather successfully, so that Nelson sounds right at home playing with them. The tunes are familiar ones, although the World War I song, "Over There," is an unusual choice for a jazz band. Naturally, Nelson is spotlighted, as in the opening chorus of "Nellie." On "Release Me," he is accompanied by only banjo, bass, and drums.
Alton Purnell, like Nelson, was a New Orlean-ian who came to prominence in the years after World War II, first with Bunk Johnson, and then for years with George Lewis. He settled in California in his later years, touring extensively, as well as playing locally in the Los Angeles area. Pur-nell's rollicking barrelhouse style was particularly influential on several English trad pianists. His playing with Dave Brennan's Jazzmen runs true to form, extroverted and strongly rhythmic. Most of the numbers are with the full band, but on "I Want a Little Girl" and the "I Want You..." medley, his piano and characteristic vocals are backed only by the rhythm section. All in all, this is a representative sampling of Purnell's talent and features some of his specialties.
- Bill Mitchell


American Rag - U. S. A.

Two icons , trombonist Louis Nelson and piano/vocalist Alton Purnell, are excellently showcased on the 70-minute JCCD-3026. Its first ten cuts are from an I/I 1/75 date with Nelson that appeared on Carrot (that's the label of the LP) number Six. The eight Purnell cuts, waxed 11/24/74, may be seeing their initial release. The backup band, from England, is Dave Brennan's Jazzmen: Bugs Burgon, trumpet; Martin Boyd (with Nelson), clarinet/alto saxophone or Dick Douthwaite, clarinet/tenor saxophone; Pat O'Brien (Purnell sides only), trombone; Brennan, banjo; Brian Tumock, string bass; and Terry Kennedy, drums. They render able confident robust support on routines that keep the solo spotlight almost constantly on the guest stars, both of whom are operating at peak capacity. Even those of us who already have a lot of Nelson and Pumell on our shelves, will still find this bracing alburn a welcome addition to their collections. 1 thoroughly enjoyed it. Five stars.
- Tex Wyndham


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