JAZZ CRUSADE JCCD3067, 2001, 15 tracks, 74min

I've Got Rhythm, South, Love Nest, Sweet Lorraine, Oh Lady Be Good, S'il Vou Plait, Old Fashioned Love, Rosetta, I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say, Girl Of My Dreams, Wolverine Blues, Smiles, China Boy, My Blue Heaven, All Alone With The Rhythm

Jacques Gauthe is a Gascon, and like some of the wines from that part of France his reed playing often has an unusual bouquet; a sparkling and cheeky little number! At first I was intimidated by the prospect of having to listen to 74 minuets of clarinet and/or soprano sax, but once the CD was on I relaxed as Jacques wove his magic. This protegee of Sydney Bechet is ably backed by Reide Kaiser on piano, Colin Bray on bass, Emil Mark on banjo and Taff Lloyd on drums who were in New Orleans at the time for the Greg Stafford and Michael White sessions that Jazz Crusade were recording.

Like me, you may not be keen for a CD of one man on reeds, but trust me, this one is worth listening to. Jacques is unique and the rhythm boys are worth listening to on their own. Let your worries and prejudices go and give this CD a spin.