TOE TAPPING

MIKE WALBRIDGE’S CHICAGO FOOTWARMERS                                                              Crazy Rhythm                                                                                                                            Delmark DE 247

Mike Walbridge (tu); Kim Cusack (cl/as); Don Stiernberg (bjo/gtr); Bob Cousins (dms) [1-8] – Walbridge, Cusack, Eddie Lynch(bjo); Glen Koch (dms) [15-17]; add Johnny Cooper (pno) [9-14] : Chicago, 14 Aug, 1966 [15-17], 9 Jul, 1967 [9-14],14 Aug, 2007 [1-8].

I Would Do Anything for You/On the Alamo/I Never Knew/Sugar/Nobody’s Sweetheart/Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea/Tin Roof Blues/When My Dreamboat Comes Home/Nagasaki/Angry/Sunday/Crazy Rhythm/Down Where the Sun Goes Down/Darktown Strutters Ball/Love Me or Leave Me/Big Butter & Egg Man/My Honey’s Lovin’ Arms – TT 60:00.

Some things never go away: “Traditional” jazz is one of those things. It was even POPULAR MUSIC at one time here in Oz, and in the UK (thanks to Graeme Bell, a.o.), being music post-war youngsters DANCED to before Rock & Roll, if you can imagine that! [Of course, jazz began as a music that Black folks danced to half a century before, so what went around came around once again.] There has always been a die-hard core of white Traddies (or Mouldy Figs?) to keep it alive literally around the world in some way or another in spite of further developments in jazz over time: Consider the recently deceased Jeff Healey… from blues/rock guitar hero to trad trumpeter! Such is the way. Hell, I began my personal jazz involvement steering and accompanying my father to Eddie Condon’s once I reached NY drinking age!!

Partially released on LP for Blackbird Records in the ‘60s, Delmark honcho Bob Koester got the band’s present line-up into the studio last year for additional material – not something always possible these days. There is a loose “tightness” to the band in all its forms, a near-swinging 2/4 beat that is easy on the ear. If this genre is your meat, go for it; good repertoire, good playing, by good players. You could do WAY lots worse than this CD! Have an hour of quiet enjoyment while sipping a Scotch on the rocks if you are so reclined!

PETER B. LOWRY

published: IAJRC Journal, v71,#3 – Aug 2008, p.90/91]

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