The Jazz Crusade Audio Sampler Catalog
JCCD-3032: Wilbur DeParis - Live in Canada 1956

Personnel: Wilbur DeParis [tb], Sidney DeParis [ct,tu], Omer Simeon [cl], Lee Blair [bn], Stan White [pn], Benny Moten [bs], Wilbert Kirk [dm], Jimmy Rushing [vocal], Willie the Lion Smith [pn]

Songs: Marching & Swinging, Shreveport Stomp, St. Louis Blues, Hot Lips, Maori, Zig Zag, Mighty Lak A Rose, Goin' to Chicago, I Want A Little Girl, March of the Charcoal Greys, Wrought Iron Rag, When the Saints Go Marching In, Stardust, Beale Street Blues, Are You  from Dixie.

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Reviews for:
JCCD-3032: Wilbur DeParis - Live in Canada 1956

IAJRC Journal

What a marvelous compact disc this is! The DeParis band was deservedly popular around this time and the group that went to Stratford was really together. Omer Simeon sounds wonderful and plays many good things, but "Shreveport Stomp" is exceptional. "Hot Lips" features Sidney DeParis, but not on cornet. He uses this as a vehicle for his tuba. It is performed with the appropriate amount of decorum. As usual Sidney's cornet playing is of very high quality. He was one of the unsung best. Wilbur's eloquent spoken introductions are helpful and he was certainly an asset for more than his trombone excellence.
This band is so good, it even makes the "Saint" sound palatable. The two guests would be welcome anywhere. Willie the Lion Smith does two solo numbers. Jimmy Rushing sings with the whole band and does a couple of his specialties. Good to have them in this setting. The sound from the Canada concert is excellent, but the New York bonus tracks quality, although acceptable, is not as good. Here is one to add to your list, especially if you like the DeParis brothers.
- Russ Chase


The Bolden Times - Canada

I was privileged to hear a "test pressing" of this item, likely to be officially released in January of 1998. This is a rare glimpse of the DeParis brothers and their "New New Orleans Jazz", playing at the Stratford festival on July 11,1956. Wilbur himself acted as a very well-spoken MC for the one hour concert. Included are several of the band's original specialties including Marching & Swinging, March of the Charcoal Greys and Wrought Iron Rag. Sidney gets a tuba feature on Hot Lips, Simeon plays Jelly Roll Morton's Shreveport Stomp and Lee Blair is featured on Mighty Lak a Rose. Standards such as St. Louis Blues (with a shuffle beat) and the ubiquitous Saints also appear.
Jimmy Rushing sings effectively with the band on Goin' to Chicago and / want a Little Girl. The Lion's solo contribution is limited to an uncertain Maori, and a short but effective version of his haunting composition Zigzag, the latter discreetly accompanied by the band's drummer.
The DeParis band was an interesting approach to the difficulties of traditional jazz in the post world war two period. Like Louis Armstrong's "All-Stars", this was very much a commercial "entertainment" band. Unlike the All-Stars, the DeParis Brothers used instruments that dated explicitly from the 1920's, such as the banjo and the tuba, revived old numbers like Shreveport Stomp, and used archaisms such as "rag" for titles. On the other hand, the band was highly organized and did not merely jam on traditional numbers. It is sobering to realize that the front line and Lee Blair had been performing since the 1920's and showed no lessening of enthusiasm or skill in 1956. These performances are an absolute joy, Sidney and Omer Simeon being the standout performers. Sidney's horn work is crackling and exciting, and Simeon demonstrates the fluid clarinet style found on the Red Hot Peppers recordings from the 1920's.
The sound quality is remarkably good, with the performers occasionally a bit off mike. One wonders what other buried treasures may exist out there? This is apparently one of only two CD's currently available of the De-Paris band. This is a must have for one's collection. The sound is excellent , and the disc is rounded out by three earlier performances of the band with different rhythm section, namely Stardust, Beale Street Blues and Are you from Dixie? These are broadcasts from Jimmy Ryan's in 1952, with Eddie Gibbs, banjo, Don Kirkpatrick, piano, Freddie Moore, drums, and no bass player. The sound is inferior to the Stratford Festival Concert, and Kirkpatrick and Moore are less flexible performers.
- Reide Kaiser


AMG **** Review - U. S. Jazz Guide

Trombonist Wilbur DeParis started leading his "New New Orleans Jazz Band" at the beginning of the 1950's and during that decade the always-colorful group recorded regularly for the Atlantic label; unfortunately all of their studio recordings are long out-of-print. DeParis' ensemble featured his brother (the talented trumpeter Sidney DeParis), the great clarinetist Omer Simeon and a rhythm section that usually included pianist Sonny White. The band's repertoire reflected the leader's eclectic taste, featuring jazz standards, complete obscurities, occasional marches and rags, plus a few pop tunes. This particular Jazz Crusade CD (which came out in 1997) is valuable because it contains music from a previously unreleased concert from Stratford, Ontario. The 1956 version of the band (with both DeParis brothers, Simeon, White, banjoist Lee Blair, bassist Leonard Gaskin and drummer Wilbert Kirk) is heard first on four numbers including a tuba feature for Sidney DeParis ("Hot Lips"), a remake of Jelly Roll Morton's "Shreveport Stomp" (which in 1928 had also featured Omer Simeon), and "Marching & Swinging. W illie "the Lion" Smith is showcased on a pair of piano solos ("Maori" and "Zig Zag"), Blair is put in the spotlight for "Mighty Lak a Rose" and singer Jimmy Rushing is joined by the full band on well-received versions of "Goin' to Chicago" and "I Want a Little Girl." Of the three remaining numbers from this gig, "March of the Charcoal Greys" and "When the Saints Go Marching In" are unfortunately incomplete. To fill out the CD, there are also three numbers taken from the Doctor Jazz radio shows of 1952 which feature a different rhythm section. Since the Canadian concert retains the spoken introductions of DeParis and the Lion (and these get rather repetitive), it is advised that, from the second time on, listeners program their CD players to skip the brief talks. A highly recommended CD, Big Bill Bissonnette correctly states in his liner notes that here is some new New New Orleans Jazz.
- Scott Yanow


Jazzitude - U. S. Internet Magazine

Trombonist Wilbur DeParis and his brother, cornet player Sidney, led one of the best bands to play New Orleans style jazz well into the 1960s. This set, recorded in Stratford, Ontario in 1956, features the group in top form. Though the music is highly arranged and may seem to lack some of the spontaneity of other trad jazz combos, the DeParis band was playing much the same style that Jelly Roll Morton's Hot Peppers had initiated. In fact, the clarinetist here is none other than Omer Simeon, the original clarinetist on such Morton recordings as "Shreveport Stomp." That number, included here, is a highlight, especially as it represents one of Simeon's last live recordings (he died if cancer in 1959, and according to the liner notes here, was unable to perform these numbers just one year later, in 1957 because of his illness).
This is a fine live collection of music by an intelligent band using intelligent arrangements-listen to deParis quoting from Mercer Ellington's "Things Ain't What They Used to Be" (Sidney DeParis played with the Ellington orchestra from 1945-1947) on "St. Louis Blues." There are also guest turns from Willie "the Lion" Smith and vocalist Jimmy Rushing. Smith performs "Maori" and "Zig Zag" both of which demonstrate his prowess at the keys. Rushing does "Goin' to Chicago" and "I Want a Little Girl" as only he can.
DeParis was important in keeping New Orleans jazz alive and in front of the public during the 1950s and on, and his repertoire, as indicated by this set, consisted not only of jazz tunes, but also included the marches and blues that were key inspirations to those who composed and performed early New Orleans jazz. Though his band might sound a bit on the mannered side to those listening today, there is no question that the musicianship of this group placed it near the top of the list of bands performing in the mid-fifties. For anyone interested in hearing a top-notch performance by this band, Live in Canada 1956 is a completely essential document.
- Marshall Bowden


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