New Orleans Delight
is one of the finest little traditional groups in Europe. They seem to have a never-ending schedule. Like jazz music itself, the band is always in transition. This CD is the last for trombonist Bengt Hansson
who retired from the group recently. It’s the first recording for Hans Pederson
who replaces Goran Magnusson
in the piano chair.
The guest trumpeter for this session is Norbert Susemihl
in his third CD with the Danish band. Susemihl plays with a number of New Orleans style in his native Germany. In his liner notes, Marcel Joly tells a short story about the trumpeter’s appearance in New Orleans with a marching band. "Asked by one of his neighbors what this white cat was doing with the band, one of the musicians with the Algiers Brass Band answered: He Ain’t white, he’s German
While I had heard great things about the featured vocalist Lee Gunness
, I had never actually heard her on record. Be assured, this is an experience. When the diminutive Australian singer opens her mouth, you had better stand back. Lee Gunness could easily produce a tidal wave. Influenced by such folks as Bessie Smith and Mahalia Jackson, Gunness has recorded with bands in New Orleans, Europe and her home country. During the late 1990s, she toured Europe with the Crescent City’s own Lillian Boutte
Gunness and New Orleans Delight rattle the windows as they romp their way through a collection of gospel favorites. As one would expect, there are some quiet moments and some beautiful a cappella passages on Amazing Grace
and His Eye Is On The Sparrow
. The soulful songstress belts out I Shall Not Be Moved
and Just A Little While To Stay Here
in true New Orleans style, inspiring some nice solos by the front line. The singer’s voice has the tensile strength of steel. It’s quite amazing!
New Orleans Delight has recorded a relatively new hymn He Touched Me
before and it’s becoming a favorite for leader Kjeld Brandt
. Brandt’s clarinet and Susemihl’s flugelhorn provide a beautiful background for Gunness on the 1963 hymn by W.J.Gather. As always, the N.O.D.’s rhythm section is flawless and tasteful. Gospel and trad fans will love this album.