The Jazz Crusade Audio Sampler Catalog
JCCD-3051: “Down Home Music”- Dr. Michael White, Gregg Stafford

Personnel: Gregg Stafford [tp,v], Dr. Michael White [cl], Reide Kaiser [pn], Emil Mark [bn], Colin Bray [sbs], Taff Lloyd [dm]

Songs: You Tell Me Your Dream, Back Porch, When I Grow Too Old to Dream 1 & 2, My Life Will Be Sweeter Someday, Rose Room, Stomp De Lowdown, Marie La Vieu, The Bucket’s Got A Hole In It, The Pearls, Amen, Panama Rag.

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Reviews for:
JCCD-3051: “Down Home Music”- Dr. Michael White, Gregg Stafford

AllMusicGuide.com - World Wide Web

Once more joining to pursue their validation of jazz New Orleans-style, Dr. Michael White and his younger companion, Gregg Stafford, have produced another gem of a session. White's clarinet is born of the tradition of Johnny Dodds out of the Crescent City's master clarinet teacher, Lorenzo Tio Jr.. Stafford's trumpet shows the influences of the New Orleans' horns with Louis Armstrong in the forefront, of course. White and Stafford give harmonious, energetic structure to the music without ever losing that free and easy way that characterized groups who played this music during its heyday. This synergy between White and Stafford and between themselves and the rest of the crew stays intact throughout the session. It is evident on "When I Grow Too Old to Dream," where each member gets a chance to solo, with Stafford adding a vocal in his rough and ready style. White also tells the story of the legendary voodoo queen of New Orleans on "Marie La Veau," engaging in old-time call and response with the rest of the band. More traditional music comes from Reide Kaiser as he puts on the pianistic mantle of Jelly Roll Morton on "Mr. Jelly Lord." The cut is entirely the piano player's. The close relationship between jazz and church music is recognized with a medley of "Amen"/"Whole World in His Hands." "Panama Rag" is typical of the feeling these "keepers of the flame" have for this traditional music, as Stafford plays the melody with White laying down a counter-melody underneath before reversing roles. The banjo of Emil Mark and the rhythm of Colin Bray and Taff Lloyd all help make Down Home Music an outstanding representation of traditional New Orleans jazz. Heartily recommended.
- Dave Nathan


Boxell's Jazz Website

JCCD-3051: Gregg Stafford/Dr. Michael White - Down Home Music
When I got his CD I thought 'The boys are back!' when in fact they didn't go away. Let me explain; this is the same line-up as on At The Cross - Praying & Swaying Volume 1 and most of the tracks were laid down two days after that wonderful session. This is another superb CD by the band Jazz Crusade put together featuring trumpeter Gregg Stafford and clarinettist Dr Michael White. Whilst Stafford and White are the stars, they are more than ably backed by Reide Kaiser on piano, Colin Bray on bass, Emil Mark on banjo and Taff Lloyd on drums. In fact the other members of the band get many chances to impress the listener with their talents, especially Reide Kaiser who gets Mr Jelly Lord, and The Pearls largely to himself.
By buying this CD you not only get some of the world's best jazzmen, but a selection of tunes that includes some that don't often appear elsewhere. This CD is a fine addition to any traditional jazz fan, particularly if the New Orleans' flavour suites their palette.


Jazz Gazzette - Belgium

Out of the blue came this third volume of the sessions that produced the two volumes of "Praying and Swaying" and I was happily surprised. Those of you who have read my reviews of the two previous CDs will know why. What we have here are two of the most fascinating musicians on the traditional New Orleans scene backed by a fine international rhythm section, now already known as the "Jazz Crusade rhythm section" because they were already on several CDs.
Those who, like me, love Gregg's singing as well as his trumpet playing, will be glad to hear that he sings on six of the twelve tracks. His vocals remind me of both Kid Howard and Teddy Riley. On "Marie La Veau" he sings from start to finish. It was long ago that we heard that Papa Celestin favourite. It tells the story of New Orleans' famous voodoo queen whose grave on St.Louis cemetery N° 1 is still visited today by those who believe in her magic power.
Like on the previous volumes there are two tracks recorded at a later session in Toronto featuring piano and bass only. The duo does full justice to Jelly Roll Morton's famous compositions. When I say duo I mean duo and not piano accompanied by bass. Reide and Colin talk together on their instruments.
While on the two volumes of "Praying And Swaying" the accent was on blues and religious material, the tunes on this CD are more representative of the rest of the New Orleans repertoire. Of the two very different versions of "When I Grow Too Old To Dream" I prefer the second one, which is slower and more subdued. "Back Porch", a Kid Sheik favourite, also gets a very laid-back treatment. When Sheik retired forced by serious health troubles, Gregg took over his band at Preservation Hall. Before that he had also played together with Sheik when sickness took its toll of one of the best loved musicians in New Orleans. I'm sure this version of one of Sheik's most requested numbers was meant as a tribute to the charismatic old master. Gregg's growling
trumpet and Michael's sizzling hot clarinet bring this song to a dramatic climax. On the old spiritual "My Life Will Be Sweeter Someday" we hear only Michael with the rhythm. His clarinet sings like a bird in the high register. "Rose Room" has been recorded by numerous jazz bands, but this rather slow and relaxed version makes it sound like new. It shows again what a great team Michael and Gregg are and how they have mastered the art of building up to an exciting climax. "Panama" is fireworks from start to finish, all eleven minutes of it. It has great ensemble work and exciting solos by every member of the band. Emil Mark proves that he is not only a most reliable and tasteful banjo player in the ensembles but a remarkable soloist as well.
For drummer Taff Lloyd, who wrote the fine and emotional liner notes for this CD, this session was a dream that came true: visiting New Orleans, playing and recording with local musicians, sitting in at Preservation Hall. Well, he deserves it! His dynamic playing, reminding me of both Sammy Penn and Alec Bigard, sounds wonderful to me. While we are waiting for the results of Big Bill's new recording sessions in New Orleans anno 2002, we urge all lovers of this timeless music to add this CD to their collection. It plays for exactly 70 minutes.
- Marcel Joly


Victory Review - U. S. A. Magazine

Thank you Jelly Roll Morton, Thank you Joe Oliver and the Creole Jazz Band and the many other New Orleans Musicians who paved the way for folks like Gregg Stafford, trumpet/vocal and Dr Michael White. Their newest musical endeavor is delightful. Humor, grit and soul lace this album. Stafford's wry vocals on "Back Porch" are an example of musical courting at its best. "When I Grow Too Old to Dream" steps out of the realms of swarmy standards and becomes a meditation. Dr White, leader of the New Orleans' based Original Liberty Jazz Band, can seriously swing. With the definitions of jazz expanding every minute, traditional jazz is alive and well and living in New Orleans.
- LaVon Hardison


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