Personnel: Alvin Alcorn,
Kid Thomas, Punch Miller, Kid Sheik (tp), Big Jim Robinson, Louis Nelson,
Big Bill Bissonnette (tb), George Lewis, Albert Burbank, Polo Barnes,
Sammy Rimington (cl), Capt. John Handy (asx), Manny Paul (tsx),
Don Ewell, Octave Crosby, Sing Miller (pn), Creole George Guesnon, Dick
Griffith (bn), Slow Drag Pavageau, Joe Twat Butler, Mouldy Dick McCarthy
(sbs), Sammy Penn, Alec Bigard, Cie Frazier (dm), Victoria Spivey, Carol
Leigh (v) playing with: The Easy Riders Jazz Band, The Algiers
Stompers, The International Jazz Band, The December Band, The Jazzology
Poll Winners, Big Jim's Little Six, Slow Drag's Bunch and others.
Songs: Bourbon St. Parade, Sister Kate, Kid Thomas Boogie
Woogie, Struttin' with Some Barbeque, Redwing, Lil Liza Jane, Old
Grey Bonnet, Uptown Bumps, My Blue Heaven, You Rascal You, Bugle Boy March,
Say Si Si, Make Me A Pallet on the Floor, It Feels So Good, Down by the
The Best of the Jazz Crusade
King Jazz Review
The deluxe edition of The Jazz Crusade book, ISBN 0-9632297-0-2 published by Special Request Books includes a Compact Disc of fifteen tracks totalling 72:28 playing time chosen by Big Bill Bissonnette himself as being the best of the recordings pertinent to his book.
The CD album’s fifteen tunes has seven different New Orleans styled drummers, on it, there is Sammy Penn on five of them, Art Pulver on three, Alec Brigard on two, Cie Frazer; Barry Martin, Mitisue Yano, all 3 of them, playing on one each, with drummer Big Bill on the other two tunes. Big Bill plays trombone on eleven tunes, and, on another tune trombonist Louis Nelson plays. Big Jim Robinson plays trombone on four tunes trebling on Bugle Boy March with protégé Bissonnette and Tsunetami Fukuda. The two black American New Orleans musicians Alvin Alcorn and Paul Barnes’ vocals in harmonising talk singing on Bourbon St Parade is unique.
Any top-class KJR scat-tapping jive dance dancer will shine if done in the way that Sister Kate can shimmy the Pete Bocage style as heard sung on this track by Victoria Spivey. The Kid Thomas Boogie-Woogie track is like riding the majestic Flying Scotsman steam locomotive, such as recalled on the railway lines between London and Edinburgh, lovingly, listening to its riff movements, and the Emanuel Paul quivering and shakings saxophone tone, simply has to be much in kind to a satisfied woman’s ecstatic, rapturous, craving shouts of delight.
I recall being sad, OK disappointed, when the George Lewis, New Orleans styled clarinettist Sammy Rimington, then with UK trumpeter Ken Colyer Revival Jazzmen, who in doing his last gig with trumpeter Bill Brunskill at The Lord Napier, Thornton Heath, Croydon, England, which I attended, left the UK for the USA, enthrals me with his performance here on the Uptown Bumps track. To hear him playing with Kid Thomas Valentine, Big Jim Robinson, Captain John Handy, and, Sammy Penn, on trumpet; trombone; tenor sax and drums respectively is out of this world for me, how great they all are in playing this number on the 3rd of December 1965, in the Bissonnette “December Band” at Moose Lodge Hall, Stamford, Connecticut, USA, which was in effect recorded on a celebration party date to welcome clarinettist Rimington from his homeland to join the Bissonnette Easy Riders Jazz Band, in America.
“Take a train and ride to Atlanta. Make it baby. She will never know. Make it soft and low. Behind the kitchen door”, are lines in the song Make Me A Pallet On The Floor sung by Carol Leigh, a discovery singer by Big Bill, whose sensual, sultry voice when listened to - coming over in one of the lines sounding as – ‘make a baby’ – which repeats itself eight times consecutively with Carol varying tonal emphasis on it which wonderfully makes one, in fact me, feel passionately for her and the song. Standing alone, this CD album becomes priceless - it is an item of American musical history to be treasured and savoured by all of the States – in America.
JAZZ JOURNAL - British Magazine
This is the record that was originally made up to go with Bill Bissonnette's
interesting and informative book which covered the events and personalities
relating to his successful efforts to bring New Orleans musicians to his
home state of Connecticut (later California) and the recordings on his
Jazz Crusade label which were produced as a result of that activity. As
can be heard on those records, and exemplified on this selection, the
men he chose to play with his heroes, members of his own Easy Riders Jazz
Band, were equal to the task and the results were often excellent.
Kid Thomas was a particularly frequent and popular visitor to Connecticut,
along with his long time drummer Sammy Penn, and the sessions that featured
the two of them were among the most successful ~ although the Riders'
own drummer is on Redwing, which is one of the highlights of this selection.
Another fine track, not unexpectedly, is that by the tremendous December
Band featuring the two of them plus John Handy, Jim Robinson, with Sammy
Rimington, living in Connecticut at the time, doing his George Lewis impersonation
to perfection. Not all the tracks, understandably, are as good as these,
but none of them are less than enjoyable and, since only over just half
of them were issued on the Jazz Crusade LPs, this is a very desirable
CD in its own right, with or without the book. This compilation makes
a pleasant introduction as well as a reminder of a most worthy enterprise
during the time when such things were still possible, given a lot of enterprise
and determination - as well as a lot of love of the music.
- Christopher Hillman
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