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Down Home Music by Michael White and Gregg Stafford

Here’s more from the group that appeared on "Praying & Swaying" issued last year. The front end features two of the premier native New Orleans revivalists on the scene. Dr. Michael White, a disciple of the great Johnny Dodds joins ace trumpeter Gregg Stafford for a nice set of 12 tunes enjoyed by New Orleans bands for decades. Some are pop standards of the 1920’s and 1930’s while others are associated exclusively with the "Big Easy.’" Marie LaVeau is one of the latter. The tune tells the story of the legendary voodoo queen and Gregg Stafford takes the vocal.

Two members of the rhythm section are featured on a pair of Ferdinand Morton tunes, Mr.Jelly Lord and The Pearls. Canadians, Reide Kaiser and Colin Bray recorded the tracks in Toronto with engineer Brian Graville who is also a fine trumpeter in local bands. Richard Bird recorded other tracks in New Orleans. Drummer Taff Lloyd filled in as "chief bottle washer" due to the absence of the convalescing "Big Bill" Bissonnette and did the job admirably.

I don’t usually like the song "Last Night On The Back Porch" but I must eat my words in this case. Gregg Stafford’s outrageous vocal and gravely horn are pitted against the sensitive clarinet and piano with great success. The rhythm section is as strong and imaginative as ever. The entire group is a "mutual admiration society" as a result of their frequent engagements. A special tip of the hat to Taff Lloyd. He gets better with every session.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Michael White and Gregg Stafford
  • CD Title: Down Home Music
  • Genre: Traditional / New Orleans
  • Year Released: 2001
  • Record Label: Jazz Crusade
  • Tracks: You Tell Me Your Dream; Back Porch; When I Grow Too Old To Dream; My Life Will Be Sweeter One Day; Rose Room; Mr. Jelly Lord; Marie La Veau; The Bucket’s Got a Hole In It; The Pearls; Amen/Whole World In His Hands; Panama Rag; When I Grow Too Old To Dream (alternate take).
  • Musicians: Dr.Michael White (clarinet); Gregg Stafford (trumpet, vocals); Reide Kaiser (piano); Emil Mark (banjo); Colin Bray (bass); Taff Lloyd (drums).
  • Rating: Four Stars
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