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Jam Session Coast To Coast / Jammin At Condons by Eddie Condon

Though it’s not done these days as much as in the 50s (when these original albums made the scene), the Jam Session Album was a common way to get jazz fans to buy records. The M.O. was simple: get a bunch of well-known names together in a studio, and have them go to town on a bunch of well-known standards (or originals based upon such standards) - everybody plays the theme/melody in unison, then the soloists strut their stuff. While it sounds no-brainer formulaic, it can frequently be a lotta fun - it’s what’s done-with (or to) the formula that counts. So while one is not likely to hear exacting ensemble work or brilliant, intricate compositions on these two discs, one WILL hear some freewheeling, big-hearted, old-old-old-school funky, joyous soloing of the pre-Swing Era, New Orleans-to-Chicago-to-NYC school. These guys aren’t afraid to wear their hearts - and their influences, namely Louis Armstrong, Jimmie Noone, Kid Ory, etc. - on their sleeves as they strut their stuff on old jazz repertoire like "There’ll Be Some Changes Made," "Ja-Da," and the Fats Waller (topical) gem "What Did I Do To Be So Black and Blue." These sides feature some of the greatest soloists of the pre-bebop eras: Bud Freeman (himself an influence on Lester Young, one of THE most influential tenors of all time), Wild Bill Davison (one of the heirs to the Armstrong fortune) and George Whettling. And whereas a lot of post-1960 jazz fell victim to the Over-Serious Syndrome (an Art Attack, if you will), these cats sound like they’re having fun.... imagine that.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Eddie Condon
  • CD Title: Jam Session Coast To Coast / Jammin At Condons
  • Genre: Traditional / New Orleans
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Reissue Original Release: 1954/55
  • Record Label: Collectables
  • Musicians: Eddie Condon: guitar; Bud Freeman: tenor sax; Wild Bill Davison: cornet; Peanuts Hucko, Ed Hall: clarinet; Lou McGarity: trombone; George Whettling: drums; others. Originally released on Columbia Records.
  • Rating: Three Stars
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