Freddy Lonzo & Brian Carrick-Ready for Freddy
Boxell's Jazz Website - New Zealand
Yet again Jazz Crusade are to be congratulated in bringing to the world
stage an underrated jazz musician, in this case New Orleans trombonist
Freddy Lonzo. They are especially to be congratulated in allowing Freddy,
English reedsman, Brian Carrick, Canadians Emil Mark, banjo, Reide Kaiser
piano, Dane Doc Houlin, drums and American Emil Mark to fully express
themselves and explore the tunes they play to the fullest. The shortest
track is just under 5 min and the longest 10, so you will see what I mean.
The pairing of the brilliant tailgate trombonist Freddy Lonzo with the
ultra smooth and laid back Brian Carrick (playing just the clarinet on
this CD) is inspired. But, the rest of the band fit together so well and
all of them compliment rather than compete or just support the frontline.
The playing is mainly ensemble playing, but there are enough solos to
let you appreciate the quality of all the members of the band. But what
about the man the album is named for? Who is he? The sleeve notes say
that he started playing jazz in his teens, first with Doc Pauline, and
then with Alvin Alcorn before moving on to the Louisiana Jazz Repertory
Jazz Ensemble. Apparently Freddy has also been a player in the pit orchestra
for the show 'One Mo' Time'. Well he must have been wasted, as this man
deserves to be heard in a small band where his ability and jazzmanship
can be heard clearly and fully enjoyed.
So, there you go: excellent jazzmen, good tunes fully developed, top class
recording standards. Surely you don't ask for more? Well, yes I do. I
want to hear Freddy Lonzo play in a frontline alongside those other great
contemporary black New Orleans jazzmen: trumpeter Greg Stafford and clarinettist
Michael White. Meantime, I will console myself by continually playing
King's Jazz Review - England
A very nice Reide Kaiser piano opening on the first track, Deed I Do,
which is beautifully accompanied by string bass, wonderful drum timings
and a very fine George Lewis styled clarinet with a classical tinge to
it, but the banjo is under recorded throughout.
Oh me, my, the 25-pounder-like gun blasting shots, the quick fire ack
ack repetitions, the handfuls of variety growls, random glissandi, scream-throaty
bullet shoots, and far removed curbed acute penetrating accents, from
what may be classed as a New Orleanian trombonist of today, made me wonder
what on earth incensed Big Bill to come up with such a contrasting powerful
sound to record with his very fine established jazz group featuring the
tuneful clarinettist Brian Carrick.
When I listened through Making Whoopee I began to visualize a tree-top
setting where parents have built a nest, then in time being oblivious
to the cuckoo stranger in their midst and the consequences, but in contrast
to the hapless bird parents, this Jazz Crusade venture with the Kaiser,
Mark and Bray trio, under the encompass of the sensational drummer Doc,
is with ease, handling this new-comer trombonist harmoniously well, well
without fluster and distraction coming from his strikingly frenetic horn.
On Tiger Rag Freddy is more than ready, he is in the driving seat on this
number supported by the inspiring and delightful input from his five accompanists
and on Margie to a lesser extent. There is a potentially smoother trombone
sound on I'm Alone Because I Love You carried into the ten minutes of
Old Fashion Love with a growing fashion of beauty appearing, and with
a grace within The Old Rugged Cross running through them, coming from
this once "One Mo' Time" trombonist jazz artist. It will take
time. What is meant by that, I'll leave it in your hands for further judgement?
For jazz fans in the UK, and all others throughout the world, the George
Lewis styled clarinettist Brian Carrick from England is playing here at
his very best and is the embodiment of the album. The Danish drummer Doc
Houlind makes the album bounce in a fashion that I've heard all too rarely
on many recordings - it's gripping, the string bass played by Colin Bray
is in perfect harmony with him, establishing Doc Houlind as the making
of the album. But for grace and beauty, apart from one out of place 'bone
splutter, from the complete sextet ensemble, then wait 'til you reach
the last number Just A Closer Walk With Thee for it is in there to be
found, and it shows what can be achieved with adventure.
This album grew and grew on me, as I played and played it over and over
again, and I wonder what you will think of it, and whether you'll see
it as I can, as another triumph for Big Bill Bissonnette and Jazz Crusade.
- Ian King
Trombonist, Freddy Lonzo, appears as leader of his own recording unit
after many years with a dozen or more New Orleans bands. Best known for
his work with The Louisiana Repertory Jazz Ensemble and with the late
Alvin Alcorn¹s band in the 1980s, Lonzo gets a chance to strut his
stuff with the aid of clarinetist Brian Carrick and an all-star rhythm
section. The leader is a very strong trombonist with a ³take charge²
attitude and a growl to match. Freddy uses his rough n ready style
to advantage, creating an exciting mood, no matter the tune. From the
traditional Old Rugged Cross to James P.Johnson¹s Old Fashioned Love,
Lonzo and Carrick blend their talents to the limit.
The sextet has an international flavor with roots in the US, UK, Canada
and Denmark. This was my first chance to hear the fine drumming of Soren
³Doc² Houlind who operates one of the most respected trad bands
in Denmark. Doc plays with a pure New Orleans sound having learned a few
things from Cie Frazier. Reide Kaiser, Emil Mark and Colin Bray round
out what has become Jazz Crusade¹s All-star Rhythm Section. It¹s
the consistent quality of these players that have added tremendously to
the appeal of the labels recent releases. Kaiser shines on most tunes
but especially on Old Rugged Cross where he sounds like a cross between
Art Hodes and Knocky Parker. Beautiful!
It was strange to hear Big Butter and Egg Man ³sans trompette².
One becomes accustomed to a trumpet lead on the tune but Lonzo and Carrick
quickly erase any doubts in the listener¹s mind. Freddy Lonzo¹s
keen sense of humor comes to the forefront throughout the session. Brian
Carrick is the star on the band¹s version of Joe Young¹s 1930
hit, I¹m Alone Because I Love You. I was pleased that Old Fashioned
Love was included on this CD. James P.Johnson¹s 1923 composition
is a great vehicle for Lonzo¹s trombone style and some fine piano
by Kaiser. Fans of hot jazz will like this album. It¹s a keeper!
- Richard Bourcier
JazzGazzette.com - Internet Publication
Bill Bissonnette's 2002 recording trip to New Orleans again resulted
in some excellent CDs. I agree with Brian Wood when he says in his erudite
liner notes that the idea of recording Brian Carrick with Freddy Lonzo
was not an idea that readily came to his mind. It wouldn't come to my
mind readily either. And, like Brian says, this is probably the reason
why Bill is a record producer and Brian and I are not. Directing a recording
session is an art in itself. How else can we explain the fact that some
people were successful in almost - if not all - the sessions they supervised.
Famous examples in the field of mainstream jazz were John Hammond (listen
to his Vanguard series!), Stanley Dance and Albert McCarthy. Every session
they produced, notwithstanding which musicians they used, had that little
something that made them superior to other efforts. These people exist
in New Orleans music too: Bill Russell - why are his recordings of Bunk
Johnson on American Music so much better than the ones the same band made
for RCA Victor? -, Alden Ashforth and David Wyckoff, Grayson Mills, Barry
Martyn and Mike Dine are just a few that I can think of right now. Bill
Bissonnette belongs in that category too. What do they do that others
don't, to obtain these continuous fine results? I'm afraid we can only
guess. I believe they create an atmosphere in which the musicians feel
comfortable and relaxed. How they create that certain mood remains their
I think most New Orleans connoisseurs will agree that Freddy Lonzo belongs
to the category of the - and I hate to use this word! - more "modern"
traditional players. To illustrate what I mean I would mention the difference
between the music heard in Traditional (or Dixieland) Hall and Preservation
Hall in the seventies, or the difference between the Paul Barbarin Band
and the Freddie Kohlman Band on one side and the Kid Thomas Band and Billie
and DeDe Pierce's band on the other side. I heard Freddy for the first
time with "Papa" French's band at Traditional Hall. Together
with Wendell Brunious on trumpet and Don Suhor on clarinet he formed a
more modern front line than any front line heard in Preservation Hall
at that time. Like almost all the "young" - well, they are almost
middle-aged by now! - black musicians in New Orleans, Freddy started out
in the brass band of Doc Paulin. Doc, who never joined the Musicians Union,
always said that his band was the elementary school for all the later
Union members and right he was! Later on Freddy worked with "Papa"
French, Alvin Alcorn, The Louisiana Repertory Jazz Ensemble, Barry Martyn's
Legends of Jazz, the Olympia, Young Tuxedo and Excelsior Brass Bands,
but also with rhythm & blues bands and more modern jazz bands.
Brian Carrick, on the other hand, clearly belongs to the category of die-hard
old style traditional musicians, his clarinet playing being inspired by
George Lewis and his tenor sax playing by Manny Paul. His own bands and
the ones he played with always belonged to that same category. That's
why the combination of Freddy Lonzo with Brian Carrick looked a bit strange.
We should have had more faith in Bill's judgement and in the capability
of the two musicians involved! With the now already famous Jazz Crusade
rhythm section (with one new member) the two piece front line delivers
a remarkable and very enjoyable recording, further enhanced by the exemplary
sound quality George Buck's Audiophile recording studio always provides.
The newcomer in the rhythm section should be known by all New Orleans
fans. Sören "Doc" Houlind's unobtrusive drumming, inspired
by the great Cie Frazier, fits the band like a glove. Emil Mark and Colin
Bray are their usual exemplary selves, self effacing but feeding the band
all the time. Reide shines in solos and accompaniment.
The repertory is interesting with few old war horses. The ones that are
present are treated in such a great way that they sound fresh again. "Making
Whoopee" might seem an unusual choice for a New Orleans band but
it proves that what we call the great American songbook should be visited
more often. It's one of my favorite tracks on this CD. Others are "The
Old Rugged Cross", "Old Fashioned Love", "Tiger Rag"
(a real bundle of uninhibited joy this one!) and "Just A Closer Walk
With Thee". On the last named tune, played as a dirge, Brian plays
those wonderful variations nobody seems to know where they came from,
except that Polo Barnes and Raymond Burke played them too. Both Freddy
and Reide match him in subtlety in their solos. This is another worthy
addition to your New Orleans collection, all 70 minutes of it!
- Marcel Joly
Jazz Journal International - England
One of the present generation of traditionally inclined New Orleans musicians,
Freddy Lonzo seems to model his style more on the local trombone exemplars
of the middle years like Frog Joseph and Wendell Eugene rather than the
tailgaters. His gruff, sometimes raucous playing combines surprisingly
well with Brian Carrick's gentle George Lewis-inspired playing resulting,
without the need for anyone on trumpet but with excellent support from
a largely European rhythm section, in a session which can be enjoyed without
reserve by an lover of latter-day Crescent City jazz.
- Christopher Hillman
Victory Review - U. S. A.
Trombonist Freddy Lonzo has been a fixture on the New Orleans scene for
a long time. Here he is teamed up with clarinet man Brian Carrick for
ten dixieland style jams. And jams they are. One gets the feeling of an
impromptu session of good friends playing a few just for fun. The selections
are all chestnuts: Tiger Rag, Big Butter & Egg Man and Just A Closer
Walk with Thee to name a few. The sextet uses the standard instrumentation
with one exception - that there is no trumpet, but one hardly misses it.
Those looking for something new won't find it here but those looking for
a good time will certainly find it on this jolly traditional jazz disc.
- Lars Gandil
Cadence Magazine - U. S. A.
Lonzo is the real deal, and the recording shows his playing in all its
rambunctious, Technicolor glory. Lonzo's work taken alone isn't retro
at all, but, rather, music that's part of a living continuum. Playing
a large-bore tenor trombone, Lonzo has a huge sound which he colors with
all manner of glisses and growls. I can imagine Lonzo contributing to
all manner of bands from the marching units that preceded Jazz to free
ensembles. Based on the liner notes, he has a very active career. Here,
however, he gets to ride only workhorses, and when he's in the saddle
you'd almost think they were thoroughbreds.
- David Dupont
Mississippi Rag - U. S. Magazine
Trombonist Freddy Lonzo is much in demand in New Orleans, working with
such bandleaders as Doc Paulin and with the Louisiana Repertory Jazz Ensemble.
Up north he's better known for his work with The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.
As liner annotator Brian Wood points out, Lonzo has no problem switching
back and forth between parade brass bands, rhythm and blues bands, modern
New Orleans groups, and what I like to call tradixieland jazz. He's that
versatile, and, while he doesn't do so on this recording, he's one heck
of a tuba player. That's what it takes to tackle a program that includes
jazz classics such as "Tiger Rag" and pop hits like "Making
Whoopee" on the same CD.
Now, what's wrong (or more correctly non-traditional) about this band?
The two-man front line of Freddy Lonzo's trombone and Brian Carrick's
clarinet ... no trumpet. Now, what's perfectly right about this band?
Same thing! Two in the front line, rather than the traditional three,
gives the horn players more room to stretch out and show what they can
do, and, oh, what they can do! Freddy Lonzo and Brian Carrick spin their
magic webs of improvisations and two-part inventions around each other,
backed by the superb timekeeping of stomp pianist Reide Kaiser, banjoist
Emil Mark, bassist Colin Bray, and drummer Doc Houlind.
Unfortunately, I know precious little about the background of Brian Carrick.
I cannot understand why with all the volumes of encyclopedic listings
of jazz musicians this fine disciple of the George Lewis style is unlisted,
at least in the ones at my disposal.
So, here it is, the real thing, somebody who wails the trombone slide
over the tailgate of the wagon, somebody who plays clarinet like he studied
with Lorenzo Tio, and a rhythm section that propels the band on to greater
heights without getting in the way of the horns. And there's another song
with which you may not be familiar -"I'm Alone Because I Love You,"
a 1930 ballad by Ira Schuster and Joe Young recorded by Frank Luther for
Victor. It's another good tune that I'll have to thank the Jazz Crusader,
Big Bill Bissonnette, for turning me on to.
- Joe H. Klee
Just Jazz - British Jazz Magazine
Not often do you get the chance to say "I was there! My wife Lyn
and I happened to be in the Audiophile Studios in New Orleans when this
recording took place. We had walked over to the building with Brian Carrick
and heard the first few takes.
First, what a rhythm section! Doc Houlind, as always, driving along in
the real old time tradition, Colin Bray, surely one of the best around
on bass. Emil Mark from Connecticut plays banjo like we all think it should
be played. I had never heard Reide Kaiser from Toronto, and was knocked
out by his playing.
A two front-line completed the band, and Freddy Lonzo probably needs little
introduction to many of the readers of 'Just Jazz'. He has worked with
everyone of note in New Orleans, including that scholarly group, The Louisiana
Repertory Jazz Ensemble, and in the pit of the 'One Mo' Time' show. He
is the consummate New Orleans horn player, and shows it in his playing
throughout this recording. My friend Brian Carrick took up the reed chair.
Brian is the guy that everyone likes, and his playing here is typical
of the man. Fluid, and yet at times repetitive in that old traditional
way. Brian's discography has just been published and I know he has recently
been in Canada recording for Bill Bissonnette. He is now getting the recognition
Well, these are the musicians; now what about the music? The first tune
is Deed I Do and I would not have chosen this to open the CD. After a
really sound piano introduction, it becomes a bit of a muddle. The melody
line is uncertain and almost lost at times. The balance and the tones
are first class, so it must be in the execution. The tune just doesn't
work for them, but after that, some good contemporary New Orleans music.
The play list is not the most adventurous, but with some good performances
by all. Margie has a great dance hall feel about it with the band working
well together. A clarinet-led Old Rugged Cross sounds fresh, and Big Butter
And Egg Man has a wonderful piano solo with a Sammy Penn-type backing
from Doc; smashing stuff! Freddy brings in I'm Alone Because I Love You,
and I always think of the late Louis Nelson when I hear this, but Freddy
here makes it his own, as he does on a real quirky introduction to Old
Fashioned Love. Seeing Tiger Rag on the list makes one feel, well, you
know, we've heard it all before, but stay with it. This old warhorse shows
Brian at his inventive and exciting best, and I have been listening to
him for over 30 years! Colin then plays superb bass followed by a drum
solo from Doc. Often those solos don't come off on recordings, but this
one does. During the whole CD, excellent playing from pianist Reide Kaiser.
At the beginning of this review I said that this rhythm section was special,
and it is. Brian is Brian, and great to see him in the spotlight, and,
of course, the man who plays superbly through the whole 70 minutes is
Freddy Lonzo from New Orleans. Go out and buy it.
- Derek J. Winters
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