The Jazz Crusade Audio Sampler Catalog
JCCD-3004: A Jazz Gumbo - Volume 1

Personnel:  Milton Batiste, Clint Baker, Brian Finigan (tp), Sammy Rimington, Paul Boehmke (reeds), Mike Owen, Big Bill Bissonnette (tb), Sadie Goodson-Colar, Emil Mark, Andrew Hall (pn), Emil Mark, John Chaffe (bn), Julian Davies, Colin Bray, Martina Haftner (sbs), Tuba Fats, Edgar Smith (bbs), Emile Martyn, Andrew Hall (dm), Linda Young (v)

Songs:  They All Asked for You, Oh Lady Be Good, Bucket's Got A Hole in It, St. Phillip Street Breakdown, Bye & Bye, After You've Gone, Dinah, Don't Get Around Much Anymore, When You're Smiling, What Am I living For?, Milneberg Joys.

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Reviews for:
JCCD--3004: A Jazz Gumbo - Volume 1

Victory Review - U.S.A. Magazine

There are six or seven group names on this 11 number collection, but the mixing and matching means that the 17 instrumentalists appear under several headings. Clarinetist Sammy Rimington is heard on every track, a pleasant plus. Big Bill Bissonnette plays his trombone on seven cuts; Paul Boehmke blows his tenor on nine. As band followed band in this festival, it sometimes took a few bars to get the group in the spotlight properly underway. But listening to Milton Batiste singing They All Asked for You and blowing his trumpet on Lady Be Good, one doesn't worry about the ragged bits. They are few, and the bright spots are many. If you like your New Orleans jazz a little raw and a lot lusty, you should enjoy this stomping session.
- John R. Elwood

West Coast Rag - U. S. A.

Bissonnette's newest project found him in New Orleans gathering together a variety of musicians for recordings that affirmatively the question, "Is there any New Orleans jazz left in New Orleans?" A Jazz Gumbo features 18 musicians most of whom, other than Bissonnette himself and clarinetist-altoist Sammy Rimington, are obscure if not completely unknown. No matter, the music has plenty of spirit and in most cases is quite successful. Trumpeter Milton Batiste (from the Olympia Brass Band) pushes the ensembles on some of the songs and sings the humorous They All Asked for You. Lady Be Good is given an explosively driving treatment. Rimington's clarinet and alto solos throughout the happy sessions demonstrate that he has grown through the years (his version of St. Phillip St. Breakdown is a real gem). The rhythm sections are excellent. Paul Boehmke contributes some effective tenor solos and Sadie Goodson-Colar (who is in her Nineties) plays piano very well. Overall, this is one of the more exciting New Orleans jazz releases of 1993.
- Scott Yanow

Kings Jazz Review - British

Gumbo is a traditional New Orleans soup containing many individual ingredients which mix into a spicy, well-seasoned and vigorous whole, and this is musically what we have here. The recordings were made during the 1993 French Quarter Jazz Festival and Bill has taken a8 local and visiting musicians in various combinations to produce a blend of authentic New Orleans jazz. Bill, Sammy Rimington and Paul Boehmke play well throughout and there is strong support from, amongst others, Emil Mark (banjo), Andrew Hall (piano/drums) and EmileMartyn (drums). Fine contributions are made by the oldest and youngest members of the group. Sadie Goodson-Colar is well into her 90's whilst Glint Baker, at 22, is surely a name that we will hear more of in the future. It is also good to hear Anthony Lacen (Tuba Fats) again.
Whilst the 11 tracks are of a consistently high standard, the stand-out number for me is After You've Gone, by the Punch Miller/Albert Warner Memorial Band. Two quality introductions by Paul and Sammy are followed by a muted trombone solo from Bill and they are well supported by a rhythm section in which Emile Martyn provides a rock steady foundation. The accompanying booklet contains a good selection of photographs from the sessions and in his notes Bill tells us that this CD is produced as it was recorded, with no "juggling" by engineers to "improve" the finished sound. You hear what was actually played and the real feel of jazz is preserved. I am looking forward to Volume 2.
- John Rickard

Jazz Rag - New Zealand

Gumbo is the name of a well known New Orleans dish from fish or chicken. The word gumbo is of Choctaw Indian origin and it is the name of okra a vegetable also known as "Ladies Fingers," often used in indian cooking. A Jazz Gumbo then is an excellent description for the recent production of Big Bill Bissonnette's Jazz Crusade label! This latest CD is a melting pot full of good things which the titles alone disclose. This is a line-up of 18 of the best New Orleans stylists in the world. The music is best described as hot, exciting and very much alive. The recording quality is first class. I would say that the music is very contemporary N.O. style, rather than the "revivalist" style where ensemble attack and dynamics are much to the fore. Some of the drumming is decidedly more in the Chicago style and has a hard driving and very exciting punch which is seemingly driven by the two reedmen. (I would have liked to have heard Capt. John Handy with this group!). Decisive bass playing always gives me satisfaction and when coupled with interesting punctuation from the drummer with "on time" single strumming from the banjo - this is a good rhythm section! On the "Bucket" track, there is some quaint muted "talking trumpet" backed by a muted, slurring, growling 'bone. St. Phillips Street Breakdown is always a good musician's party piece and in Jazz Gumbo this is no exception. Big Bill blows up a storm with his staccato style, pushing the music along in fine style. All in all, I think that this CD is a valuable contribution to anyone's jazz collection.
- Terry K. Offord

IAJRC Journal - U. S. A.

I love a good Louisiana gumbo! The cooking, steaming, simmering, sizzling - the wonderful aromas. You know, of course, that absolutely essential for a good gumbo is the roux - a base of butter and flour cooked to a rich brown. The roux in the case of this CD would be the combination of trumpeter Milton Batiste and alto saxophonist, clarinetist Sammy Rimington. To thicken a great gumbo you must have okra - ah, the okra - or the file- ah, the file. That would be Paul Boehmke, the tenor saxophonist, and Big Bill Bissonnette, the trombonist. Also very important are the freshly chopped onions, green peppers, shallots, scallions, garlic; vocals by Milton Batiste, Linda Young, Sadie Goodson-Colar. Now the crabs, shrimp, oysters, chicken, sausage, duck and the countless combinations: chicken and sausage, shrimp and crab, oyster and sausage, shrimp and oyster, ham and oyster, chicken and shrimp. So you might have Clint Baker on trumpet or Mike Owen on trombone, Brian Finigan on trumpet with Sammy Rimington on alto and Paul Boehmke on clarinet. So you see it is a matter of blend and balance and ultimately a matter of personal choice. But when the mixture is finally to your liking, the whole is served over a bed of hot, firm, fluffy, boiled long grain white rice. That, of course, would be Emil Mark, Emile Martyn and "Tuba Fats" Lacen, Julian Davies or "Kid Pops" Hafner.
Now I know not everyone likes gumbo and not every cut in this collection is for every taste. The very tasty bits are Batiste's trumpet playing, open, muted or growling, and his singing, Beohmke's tenor, Owen's trombone solos, Mark's piano spirit, Baker's trumpet and Rimington in every band -on every cut. Not as tasty is Sadie Goodson-Colar's singing on "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" and "When You're Smiling" - a taste of paprika in the mix, and Linda Young's vocal on "Bye & Bye" - gingery. But truly delicious are "Milenberg Joys," "The Bucket's Got a Hole In It" and "What Am I Living For."
- Gil Sokotow

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