The Jazz Crusade Audio Sampler Catalog
JCCD-3061: “Another Evening at Jimmy Ryan’s”- Wilbur DeParis

Personnel: Wilbur DeParis [tb], Sidney DeParis [tp], Omer Simeon [cl], Don Kirkpatrick, Norman Lester [pn], Eddie Gibbs, Danny Barker [bn], Freddie Moore [dm]

Songs: Prelude In C# Minor, There’s A Girl In the Heart of Maryland My Maryland, Martinique, At A Georgia Camp Meeting, The Pearls, Milneberg Joys, Florida Blues, Twelfth Street Rag, Blame It On the Blues, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, Fiddle Up Your Ragtime Violin, Waitin’ for the Robert E. Lee, South Rampart Street Parade.

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Reviews for:
JCCD-3061: “Another Evening at Jimmy Ryan’s”- Wilbur DeParis

Jazz Gazette - Belgium

When the so-called New Orleans revival attracted the attention of the public to the original jazz styles, a lot of musicians who had been working in the big swing bands returned to the small band format and the older way of playing jazz. The results were not always musically successful. I prefer myself hearing Buck Clayton, to name just one, in his usual swing style than playing dixieland. The band Wilbur DeParis led at Jimmy Ryan's in New York was one of those who made the transition with flying colours. Although all the members of the group had been playing in big swing bands, they all had their roots in older jazz styles. One of them, Omer Simeon, even came from New Orleans and had played with Jelly Roll Morton and King Oliver. In my opinion the one responsible for the unique style of the band was leader Wilbur DeParis. The fact that he had worked in New Orleans in the early twenties, where he had played alongside Louis Armstrong and with the Armand Piron Band, probably had something to do with his knack for making the sound of his band a kind of personal version of the New Orleans sound. Some purists called it "black dixieland", but they were doing injustice to this remarkable band. Later on, when he made those series of great recordings for the Atlantic label, Wilbur called his band "New New Orleans Jazz" and, in a way, that is exactly what it was, just like Jelly Roll Morton with his Red Hot Peppers created a new New Orleans jazz in his days. The similarity with Jelly is remarkable: tight arrangements with improvised solos and the melody always going on somewhere. Even today most purist collectors of New Orleans music, who usually have nothing but contempt for dixieland jazz, have a soft spot for the Wilbur DeParis Band. On the Jazz Crusade label two earlier issues by this band have been bestsellers.
Omer Simeon's limpid creole clarinet shines on every track. Sidney DeParis certainly was one of the hottest trumpet players of his time. He was a master with the derby mute. Wilbur himself was a technically proficient trombonist who put a lot of humor in his playing. Don Kirkpatrick, mostly associated with the bands of Chick Webb and Don Redman, had recorded 5 years earlier with Bunk Johnson on his last recording session. He was a fine, swinging pianist whose playing, in this context, showed influences of ragtime and of Jelly Roll Morton. Eddie Gibbs was a master on the banjo, although somewhat heavy handed for my taste. Freddie Moore, who had toured with one of King Oliver's later bands, was an exciting drummer.
The repertory shows great variety: a classical composition by Rachmaninoff (Prelude) (the band also played Ketelbey's "In A Persian Market"!), a parade song from New Orleans, Irvin Berlin's contribution to the ragtime era Alexander's!), a slow blues, a great Morton composition (The Pearls), an obscure song Kinkle doesn't even mention (Fiddle up...) a riverboat song (Waitin') and ...the best known of Wilbur's series of M-compositions bearing the name of an island (Martinique). This series became famous afterwards and each Atlantic album had a new
one. At the end Wilbur ran out of names and asked (and got!) help from the listeners. All these M-themes had one thing in common: they all had what Morton called "the Spanish tinge". Lovely stuff!!
This CD's offers us an evening at Jimmy Ryan's where the band played for a long time. Older collectors will not need my advice to buy this one. To the younger ones I say: "Try something else for once, I'm sure you'll love it. We do! Playing time is 60 minutes.
- Marcel Joly


Boxell's Jazz Website

A contact of mine, here in NZ, was boasting to me recently about some 'classic' jazz CDs that he had bought very cheap from 'The Warehouse'. My old speedway and jazz mate, Bob Andrews up in Auckland, had seen them too and broke the habit of a lifetime and splashed out a wad of cash to get one of everything on offer! Myself, I rarely go in The Warehouse as low price normally mans low quality, and I had been stung on some of their cheap CDs before. I made an exception this time and I went in to see what I could buy, only to find that all that was left at my local branch was a Johnny Dodds double CD for NZ$6, which I bought and have appreciated ever since. Anyway, back to the contact who first mentioned the bargain CDs to me: amongst the CDs was a double by Wilbur de Paris. My contact seemed so fond of this album I had trouble getting him to take it off so that I could hear what else he had acquired. To be honest, by the end of the afternoon I knew the tunes on the dammed CD off by heart!
This CD is not a Warehouse 'el cheapo', but rather a very interesting release of a live recording made in 1952 at the now defunct New York jazz spot, Jimmy Ryan's.
Given the recording technology at the time, these tracks are very clean and balanced, especially for live tracks. The quality is such that they allow you to appreciate what a fine band Wilbur and the Rampart Street Ramblers were. Big Bill Bissonnette, in his sleeve notes, says that many at the time said that Wilbur and the band played 'black Dixieland', rather than revivalist traditional jazz. Ok, so you get the feeling that the music is 'predefined', rather than improvised, but it is very nice to listen to and has sufficient 'grunt' , 'groan' and 'moan' to be really classed as Dixieland. All this is, of course, assuming that the earlier critics were using 'Dixieland' as a derogative term for staged and orchestrated traditional jazz.
I have never been to New York, and I certainly never went to Jimmy Ryan's, but with this CD in my collection I now know what I missed! Thanks Big Bill; loved the CD and hope that this review will encourage others to take a trip to Jimmy Ryan's to listen to Wilbur and the boys laying it down in fine fettle.
- Geoff Boxell


Cadence Magazine - U.S.A.

What trombonist Wilbur DeParis and his Rampart Street Ramblers have going for them is a bright New Orleans style make-up, thanks largely to the presence of ace banjoist Eddie Gibbs whose assertive rhythms quicken every number but two - on which he's replaced by the more subdued Danny Barker. Wilbur DeParis is an excellent ensemble player, as is his trumpet-playing brother, Sidney, but the groups star soloist is clarinetist Omer Simeon [with pianist Don Kirkpatrick only a stride or so behind]. For a style of music that's considered by many to be passé, DeParis and his colleagues manage to generate an ample supply of warmth and enthusiasm. Wherever they are now, they may still be listening for a well-earned round of applause.
- Jack Bowers


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

Wilbur DeParis & His New New Orleans Jazz Band are in typically fine form on this set of radio broadcasts from Jimmy Ryan's (their home base) during 1951-1952. The performances, which are mostly taken from the Dr. Jazz radio series, features the band surprisingly playing without a bassist yet not really not missing that instrument. Trombonist DeParis, trumpeter Sidney DeParis, and clarinetist Omer Simeon always made for a potent front line, and these performances (cut before the band's first Atlantic album) are full of spirit, enthusiasm, and creativity within the genre of New Orleans jazz. Highlights include "Prelude In C Sharp Minor," "The Pearls," "Milneburg Joys," and "Florida Blues." Easily recommended to fans of the band.
- Scott Yanow


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