JAZZ CRUSADE JCCD 3077 2001 10 tracks 70 min

Deed I Do, Making Whoopee, Margie, Old Rugged Cross, In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree, Big Butter & Egg Man, I'm Alone Because I Love You, Tiger Rag, Just A Closer Walk with Thee.

Yet again Jazz Crusade are to be congratulated in bringing to the world stage an underrated jazz musician, in this case New Orleans trombonist Freddy Lonzo. They are especially to be congratulated in allowing Freddie, English reedsman, Brian Carrick, Canadians Emil Mark, banjo, Reide Kaiser piano, Dane Doc Houlin, drums and American Emil Mark to fully express themselves and explore the tunes they play to the fullest. The shortest track is just under 5 min and the longest 10, so you will see what I mean.

The paring of the brilliant tailgate trombonist Freddy Lonzo with the ultra smooth and laid back Brian Carrick (playing just the clarinet on this CD) is inspired. But, the rest of the band fit together so well and all of them compliment rather than compete or just support the frontline. The playing is mainly ensemble playing, but there are enough solos to let you appreciate the quality of all the members of the band. But what about the man the album is named for? Who is he? The sleeve notes say that he started playing jazz in his teens, first with Doc Pauline, and then with Alvin Alcorn before moving on to the Louisiana Jazz Repertory Jazz Ensemble. Apparently Freddie has also been a player in the pit orchestra for the show 'One Mo' Time'. Well he must have been wasted, as this man deserves to be heard in a small band where his ability and jazzmanship can be heard clearly and fully enjoyed.

So, there you go: excellent jazzmen, good tunes fully developed, top class recording standards. Surely you don't ask for more? Well, yes I do. I want to hear Freddy Lonzo play in a frontline alongside those other great contemporary black New Orleans jazzmen: trumpeter Greg Stafford and clarinettist Michael White. Meantime, I will console myself by continually playing this CD!