FRITZELíS NEW ORLEANS JAZZ BAND

FRITZELíS EUROPEAN JAZZ PUB

2009, 15 tracks, 69min

Bourbon Street Parade, Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me, St James Infirmary Blues, Muskrat Ramble, Fidgety Feet, Paul Barbarinís Second Line, Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans, Thatís A Plenty, Up A Lazy River, Basin Street Blues, Down In New Orleans, Cake Walkiní Babies From Home, Bogalusa Strut, When The Saints Go Marching In, Swing That Music

I canít claim to be ďmusicalĒ, but I have some distant relatives in Australia & the States who are. They all seem to retail their CDs through, a store that specialises in providing a shop window for ĎIndieĒ music. As an irregular buyer CD Baby sends me a regular e-mail, telling me of their latest releases and special offers. Last month I saw one for a traditional jazz CD, well, on listening to some track samples, I wasnít tempted, but I did see and listen to extracts from the Fritzelís European Jazz Pub CD. I had a fair amount of credit on Pay Pal due to some recent sales of my CD-ROM, 1066 & the Norman Conquest , and liked the track samples enough to buy the Fritzelís CD.

The cover notes say that Fritzelís is a pub in New Orleansí French Quarter founded in 1969 that provides a locale for jazz aficionados from around the world, both musicians and listeners. The CD does not list the musicians, nor does their Web site. Given that, it is not surprising that all the tracks are jazz standards as they are tunes that any jazzman knows and thus there would be no problems with playing for either a straight Ďpick upí band or a house band with outsiders joining in. It could also indicate that this CD is designed as a touristís souvenir. Having said that, the jazz is such that it is obvious that the musos playing on the CD are quality players. The style is old style New Orleans and more like the traditional jazz you get in Europe than much of the contemporary traditional jazz being played in New Orleans itself (see reviews of the Big Bill Bissonnettís Easy Riders for an example of how American New Orleans style jazz has moved from its origins). The band playing on this CD has a punchy trumpet, a soaring clarinet, a competent drummer, a ringing banjo and a double bass player whose style compensates for the lack of a trombone in the frontline.

I think that this CD is an ideal one for passing on to any friends or family who may ask what this traditional jazz you love is all about.

If I ever get the chance to visit New Orleans, then I definitely will head to Fritzelís European Jazz Pub as they play the type of jazz that I love. I just hope they serve real ale and not the watered down, flavourless catís piss that passes for beer in most American bars.

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