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Dancing In The Sky by Dr. Michael White

New Orleans’ premier clarinetist, Dr. Michael White, visits his roots with a beautiful presentation dedicated to the memory of some recently deceased icons of the Crescent City. As Michael White says "to Patti Samuels, Anthony "Tuba Fats" Lacen and all those special souls who have gone and are now Dancing In The Sky."

Three trumpeters share the stage with Dr. White on this fine album. They are Nicholas Payton, Mark Braud and his close friend Gregg Stafford who will shortly be touring Denmark with New Orleans Delight. Inspired by his experiences at a musicians’ retreat called A Studio In the Woods, White suggests there is no attempt to create a "theme" for the session. The choice of material seems to be the jointly selected by the performers and many are penned by the leader. Whatever the reason, it works perfectly and it’s great to hear the clarinetist exhibiting more of his own style than he has on some past recordings dedicated to legendary reedmen. If I may single out some great clarinet tracks, I’ll mention Jambalaya Strut , Algiers Hoodoo Womanand New Orleans Bounce. Hoodoo Woman also gets top marks for the raunchy trumpet work.

Singer Thais Clark does a great job on Angel In The Day. This CD was my introduction to her talent. Trombonist Lucien Barbarin shines throughout the session but particularly on Creole Nights, a Michael White composition. The rhythm section is exactly what one would expect from these experienced veterans - stupendous!

Dancing In The Sky is an outstanding album.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Dr. Michael White
  • CD Title: Dancing In The Sky
  • Genre: Traditional / New Orleans
  • Year Released: 2004
  • Record Label: Basin Street Records
  • Tracks: Algiers Hoodoo Woman; Dancing In The Sky (Reflection); The Truth Of The Blues; Give It Up; The Hag’s Rag; Angel In The Day; Jambalaya Strut; When The Mighty Mississippi Sleeps; New Orleans Bounce; Creole Nights; Down By The Riverside; Amazing Grace; Dancing In the Sky (Transition).
  • Musicians: Dr. Michael White (clarinet); Nicholas Payton (trumpet); Thais Clark (vocal); Gregory Stafford (trumpet, vocals); Mark Braud (trumpet); Lucien Barbarin (trombone); Steve Pistorius (piano); Detroit Brooks (banjo, guitar); Herman Lebeaux (drums); Kerry Lewis (bass, tuba); Mark Brooks (bass).
  • Rating: Five Stars
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