Trombonist, Freddy Lonzo, appears as leader of his own recording unit after many years with a dozen or more New Orleans bands. Best known for his work with The Louisiana Repertory Jazz Ensemble
and with the late Alvin Alcorn’s band in the 1980s, Lonzo gets a chance to strut his stuff with the aid of clarinetist Brian Carrick and an all-star rhythm section.
The leader is a very strong trombonist with a "take charge" attitude and a growl to match. Freddy uses his rough ‘n ready style to advantage, creating an exciting mood, no matter the tune. From the traditional Old Rugged Cross
to James P.Johnson’s Old Fashioned Love
, Lonzo and Carrick blend their talents to the limit.
The sextet has an international flavor with roots in the US, UK, Canada and Denmark. This was my first chance to hear the fine drumming of Soren "Doc" Houlind who operates one of the most respected trad bands in Denmark. Doc plays with a pure New Orleans sound having learned a few things from Cie Frazier. Reide Kaiser, Emil Mark and Colin Bray round out what has become Jazz Crusade’s All-star Rhythm Section
. It’s the consistent quality of these players that have added tremendously to the appeal of the labels recent releases. Kaiser shines on most tunes but especially on Old Rugged Cross
where he sounds like a cross between Art Hodes and Knocky Parker. Beautiful!
It was strange to hear Big Butter and Egg Man
"sans trompette". One becomes accustomed to a trumpet lead on the tune but Lonzo and Carrick quickly erase any doubts in the listener’s mind. Freddy Lonzo’s keen sense of humor comes to the forefront throughout the session. Brian Carrick is the star on the band’s version of Joe Young’s 1930 hit, I’m Alone Because I Love You
. I was pleased that Old Fashioned Love
was included on this CD. James P.Johnson’s 1923 composition is a great vehicle for Lonzo’s trombone style and some fine piano by Kaiser.
Fans of hot jazz will like this album. It’s a keeper!