Most traditional jazz festivals around the world feature some type of Sunday morning non-denominational religious service. New Orleans offered jazz on Sunday morning at the 2004 French Quarter Festival
and this hastily rehearsed little band filled the bill. Jack Mclaughlin
is regarded as the Purist
by New Orleans musicians. Like many other players, he was influenced by George Lewis. However, unlike the rest of the crowd, Jack fell under the spell of a number of the Crescent City "primitives" as well. The music of folks like Milé Barnes, Steve Angrum
and Israel Gorman
fell under McLaughlin’s scrutiny. The Australian jazzman usually plays both Bb and Eb metal Albert System clarinets.
From the other side of the world comes one of the premier Danish clarinetists in the New Orleans style. Kjeld Brandt
is leader of the successful band, New Orleans Delight
. While following the tradition of some of the Crescent City notables like George Lewis and Louis Cottrell, Brandt’s great love of the music is apparent at every gig. He plays a Boehm system metal clarinet. Like McLauglin, Kjeld is extremely generous with his time when it benefits traditional jazz. Both musicians travel broadly at their own expense.
Jack McLauglin runs his own outfit in Australia and has five or more CDs to his credit. The band heard here is his own and includes pianist Rachel Hamilton, her new husband bassist Craig Goeldner and John van Buuren on tenor banjo. Rachel and Craig became engaged in New Orleans at the 2003 festival. They married in Australia just in time to enjoy their honeymoon at the 2004 event when they recorded this CD.
Kjeld Brandt runs an outfit with an unusual twist. New Orleans Delight
is a band without a trumpet player. The fact that they always operate with a guest trumpeter really keeps the band fresh. They have recorded for some years with invited horn men Norbert Susemihl
of Germany, Brits Derek Winters and Ken Pye
, America’s Chris Tyle
and Canada’s Clifford "Kid" Bastien
Both clarinetists are well versed in the art of hymns and spirituals. Their styles may differ but the resulting collaboration is both interesting and engaging. The two veterans play off each other perfectly. It’s hard to realize that this session was put together with minimal rehearsal time. The two had met and played together before but they live thousands of miles apart.
The clarinetists themselves will admit that this album is not for everyone. The music is somewhat primitive by intent. Some may say that it’s too "rough and ready" for their tastes. Of A Sunday Morn In Olde New Orleans
conveys exactly what the musicians and producer intended. It’s a fine representation of the way things were many moons ago. In that manner, it’s quite enchanting. Check out the sound samples on the Jazz Crusade website.