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Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams *
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  • In 1998, trombonist Big Bill Bissonnette's Easy Riders Jazz Band had a reunion of the surviving original personnel for the first time since 1967. All of the music was released on Rhythm Is Our Business and this particular CD. With cornet Fred Vigorito's playing hinting at that of Kid Thomas Valentine (although with better musicianship), Sammy Remington excelling on clarinet and alto (sounding a bit like George Lewis and Captain John Handy), Bissonnette contributing harmonies, and Paul Boehmke jamming on clarinet and tenor with the driving rhythm section, this is a heated and passionate set. True, the musicians are occasionally not perfectly in tune (though much of the time they are), but the creative and joyous playing overcomes any technical faults. Bassist Mouldy Dick McCarthy, who is on three of the 13 numbers, was ailing and making his final recordings. The repertoire is particularly inspired, including such unlikely songs for this setting as "Linger Awhile," "Algiers Waltz," the rambunctious "A Chicken Ain't Nothing but a Bird," "Daddy's Little Girl," "Tuck Me to Sleep in My Old Kentucky Home," and "Apple Blossom Time." A memorable effort. ~ Scott Yanow
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