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ALBERT BURBANK

BURGUNDY STREET BLUES

Jazz Crusade JCCD-3076, 11 tracks 72min 2002

Burgundy Street Blues, Shake That Thing, Lonesome Road, Lord Lord Lord, When I Grow Too Old To Dream, When You Wore A Tulip, See See Rider, Royal Garden Blues, High Society, That's A Plenty, Walking With The King

Should one read the sleeve notes before or after playing the CD? An interesting question. My wife and I played this, and others, whilst travelling up to Coromandel the other weekend; it was the first time she had heard it. Her first words were 'Oh this has got soul.' We pushed comments back and forth and came to the conclusion that it was an especially good recording of a four man front line with a very fine balance. The fact that it was a live recording and yet still managed to achieve such balance was impressive. On reaching our destination and prior to putting down some preliminary comments, I read the sleeve notes. Ooops! Jazz Crusade's Big Bill Bissonette says that he had brought Albert Burbank up to the Connecticut Traditional Jazz Club, out of catfish catching season, which Albert refused to miss. Of the recording BBB was annoyed that the others in the front line oft took three choruses to Albert's two and thus could have been seen to have 'walked over him'. BBB also felt that, apart from reedsman Noel Kaletsky the others had no conception of the Burbank style. And Lyn and I thought they sounded so good together! But BBB is right about Noel, he is just fine, and that from someone who is cautious about the use of a sax in traditional jazz.

If you haven't heard Albert Burbank then you should, like British clarinettist, Cy Laurie, he has a very distinctive style that cannot be mistaken for anyone else's. All in all, a far better CD than BBB will concede. I think well worth having, even if you only get it to see if BBB is right or my wife and I (so, as the Americans are so keen on democracy, do our two votes against his one mean that we win?).

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