Darryl Adams - "Runnin' Wild" in Toronto - Vol. 1
JazzReview - Internet Magazine
In his first recorded appearance as a leader, reedman Darryl Adams stars
on a pair of CDs for Jazz Crusade. or the past couple of decades, Adams
confined his activities to the street bands of his native New Orleans.
His introduction to music was within the Fairview Baptist Church Brass
Band formed by the late Danny Barker. Later, he joined Harold Dejan's
Olympia Brass Band, a world renowned marching band responsible for adding
new jazz fans wherever they played.
In the mid 1980's, Adams appeared with Tuba Fats Lacen's band, the Chosen
Few. Their 1985 Syla album was recently reissued by Jazz Crusade. The
saxophonist was mystified when he was told he sounded like "Capt."
John Handy. He, in fact, had never heard Handy's alto and only acknowledged
the similarity after having heard a couple of CDs by the late "Cap."
Darryl Adams is a strong player with an equally strong
sense of humor. His solo on St. Phillips Street Breakdown goes a long
way to prove my point.
This session was recorded before a live audience in Canada for the Classic
Jazz Society of Toronto in March of 2003. The concert also offered the
first Canadian appearance of Brian Carrick, one of Britain's finest clarinetists
in the George Lewis tradition. Carrick plays a metal Albert system instrument
that belonged to the late New Orleans legend. The clarinetist often appears
as a guest with various bands in Europe and New Orleans and the Toronto
session captures him at his very best. I really liked his solos on Down
In Honky Tonk Town and It's a Long Way To Tipperary.
The trombonist on this date is Toronto's own Brian Towers. Brian has captured
audiences in the city for more than twenty years with his Hot Five Jazzmakers.
His attack is not unlike Kid Ory's and he loves to growl. Always an exciting
player, his classy choice of good material contributed greatly to the
success of his band. While I haven't visited Toronto in the past few years,
a visit to the Cest What used to be a mandatory stopover.
Bassist, Dr. Colin Bray has been a part of the Hot Five Jazzmakers for
more than a decade. Bray is, in part, a jazz historian and president of
the Classic Jazz Society of Toronto. His bass style is, in my opinion,
reminiscent of George "Pops" Foster. Colin appears on a number
of Jazz Crusade CDs and is one of the strongest traditional bassists on
the scene today. His work on this concert is superb. Bray invited another
Toronto player in the form of pianist Roberta Hunt. Roberta is a rollicking
heavy hitter who has been a part of Kid Bastien's Happy Pals for a number
of years. Cliff Bastien passed away earlier this year and the Happy Pals
continue a thirty-five year gig at Grossman's Tavern. Hunt is another
player showing a great sense of humor and a fine singing voice. Listen
to her inspired piano solo on Second Line.
It's a treat to hear Connecticut's Fred Vigorito on cornet. Fred has been
with Big Bill Bissonnette's various bands since 1964. I've always admired
his playing which echoes both Satchmo and Kid Thomas. Vigorito is a tireless
improviser with ideas to spare. Shake It And Break It and Runnin' Wild
are good examples of the cornetist's hot style.
The rhythm section is completed by banjo-man Emil Mark and drummer Big
Bill Bissonnette. Emil Mark has probably been on more Jazz Crusade CDs
than any other player. Emil Mark is everything a rhythm player should
be. The guy is a human timepiece!What can you say about the perennial
Big Bill Bissonnette? He's been playing, promoting, recording, broadcasting
and contributing to traditional jazz since 1960. New Orleans jazz owes
him plenty for his indefatigable efforts over 40 years. Big Bill laid
aside his trombone for this session and takes a seat behind the drums.
Echoes of the late Sammy Penn abound for all eighteen tunes. Bissonnette
sings on the finale, Home To Bed Blues. Good stuff!
Running Wild In Toronto is recommended listening for anyone who enjoys
- Richard Bourcier
Just Jazz Magazine - England
My good friend Brian Carrick told me he had been invited to record in
Canada on the Jazz Crusade label, with Darryl Adams from New Orleans.
We both knew of his playing with Tuba Fats, but for my part, I knew little
else about this musician. A bit of delving discovers this man coming from
the days of the famous Fairview Baptist Church which the late Danny Barker
inspired. Now 42 years old, Darryl is very much the pro musician working
in New Orleans, and Bill Bissonnette once again shows his capacity for
finding these guys and getting their work down on record.
Bill was responsible for so many of those great recordings of yesteryear
with Kid Thomas, Sammy Penn, Jim Robinson and many more, including the
one and only Capt. John Handy. The liner notes suggest that Darryl has
a "Handy sound," but I can't hear it myself. He swings along
and has a fire about his playing. He works with Tuba Fats and plays on
Bourbon Street, so you will hear the contemporary sound of New Orleans
in his playing.
What about the rest of the band? Well, put Colin Bray os bass, Brian Carrick
on his old metal clarinet and Emil Mark on banjo and you have the makings
of a good band. Roberta Hunt on piano is a lady that I met a few years
ago in New Orleans, and what a player, singer and charming young lady
she is. Brian Towers, with his fat tone trombone and Fred Vigorito on
cornet (I remember his playing with the Easy Riders Jazz Band backing
Victoria Spivey on Jazz Crusade circa 1964!) and Big Bill himself, this
time on drums, makes this a hot band.
Two points worth a mention: therecording took place "live" at
the Classic Jazz Society concert in Toronto. The recording does have a
live feeling. The one real query I have is the length of the numbers.
I am sure good at the performance, but with an average length of 8:35
minutes per track, a bit long for me from the comfort of the armchair
Is this a re-creation of the Easy Riders, or a salute to Kid Thomas? Whatever
the thoughts behind this CD, it comes over as a good night of New Orleans
style music performed by some of the best around playing this genre.
- Derek J. Winters
JazzGazzette - Internet Publication
Again Big Bill Bissonnette of Jazz Crusade Records comes up with a session
of unadulterated, raw and exciting New Orleans jazz, with which I mean
"the real thing". Regular followers of the Jazz Crusade productions
will already know who Darryl Adams is, for others the name of this born
and raised New Orleanian might be completely new. Those who claim that
traditional New Orleans jazz is dead and gone in its birthplace should
better look again. Admitted that things ain't what they used to be, there
is still a small nucleus of local young black musicians who continue the
tradition whilst renewing it at the same time like every other generation
before them has done. Their names have been mentioned in this magazine
- mainly in CD reviews - so there's no need to repeat them here. Darryl
Adams is one of them. He recorded two CDs already on Jazz Crusade under
the name of Tuba Fats Chosen Few Brass Band and Jazz Band (Jazz Crusade
JCCD-3078 and JCCD-3080). This time he was recorded at a concert for the
Classic Jazz Society of Toronto with an international band: American musicians
joined forces with three Canadians and one Englishman.
Darryl Adams isn't known as well as he deserves mainly because in New
Orleans he plays mostly in marching bands and even for regular visitors
to the city it isn't easy to catch one on parade or playing for a funeral.
As many of his generation he started out with Danny Barker's Fairview
Baptist Church Brass Band. Later he worked with Leroi Jones' Hurricane
Brass Band and formed his own Tornado Brass band. When he became a member
of the famous Olympia Brass Band he learned a lot about the music from
leader Harold Dejan and from tenor sax player Manny Paul. He also played
with the Young Tuxedo Brass Band and with Floyd Anckle's Majestic Brass
Band. Today he is a regular with Tuba Fats Chosen Few.
Although he had never heard about Captain John Handy before Bill gave
him some Handy CDs, his style reminds me (and other people!) of Handy's.
He shares with Handy the sheer exuberance, the enormous drive and the
terrific swing. Some might frown at some of the unusual sounds he extracts
from his horn, but let me remind them that in the early days of jazz very
famous and admired musicians included a lot of hokum in their playing
like imitating animal sounds. King Oliver was famous for that! He could
imitate a complete barnyard on his trumpet. So let's not blame a young
(well, he's 42 and that's young in New Orleans terms!) member of that
old tradition to return - probably merely instinctively - to his roots
by doing the same. Traditional jazz lovers are often more conservative
in their tastes than the musicians they admire! Some frowned when Handy
made his first recordings on the alto sax. The Riverside people refused
to record Manny Paul, the regular reed player with the Kid Thomas Band.
Today both are recognised as musical monuments of the revival period.
Let's not forget the old credo that in classical music the human voice
tries to reach the purity of a musical instrument while in jazz the musicians
try to obtain the expressiveness of the human voice on their instrument.
So let Darryl use growls and slap-tonguing - at least I think that is
what he's doing! - as long as he swings like hell. And that is exactly
what he does on these CDs and the rest of the band with him. Like most
New Orleans musicians he loves to sing too and does it very well.
This was really an all star group. There's Fred Vigorito, who used to
be the regular trumpet player with Big Bill's Easy Riders in the sixties,
who is considered to be an exponent of the Kid Thomas style, but who obviously
also listened to Louis Armstrong and whose tone reminds me sometimes of
Wild Bill Davison. There's Brian Towers on trombone, leader of the Toronto
based Hot Five Jazzmakers, influenced by Kid Ory and Roy Palmer and as
much at home in a revival band as in a classic jazz band playing music
from the twenties and thirties. There's Brian Carrick from England who,
at last, gets the recognition he has deserved for so long, as one of the
best clarinet players of the George Lewis school. He still uses one of
George's old clarinets. Roberta Hunt on piano knows the New Orleans style
by heart being one of the regular members of the late Kid Bastien's Happy
Pals in Toronto. There's Emil Mark from Connecticut on the banjo, who
shuns the lime-lights, but does all the time what he's supposed to do,
drive the band with his impeccable rhythm. On bass there is the third
Canadian in this band, Colin Bray, recognised as one of the best exponents
in the classic New Orleans slap-bass style created by people like Pops
Foster and Slow Drag Pavageau. He's no slouch with the bow either! Last
but not least there's the man who makes all these wonderful recordings
possible, Big Bill Bissonnette, Mr. Jazz Crusade himself, trombonist,
record producer, writer and drummer. This time Bill is on drums and kicks
the band along inspired by Baby Dodds and most of all by the incredible
All these beautiful people made the guest from New Orleans feel completely
at home. This is definitely a session for those who like their New Orleans
music sizzling hot from start to finish. There is no doubt for me that
Darryl's playing inspired his companions. I heard Brian Carrick do things
I never heard him do before and Brian Towers has his bit of talking trombone
too. Fred Vigorito leads the ensembles with authority and power.
Highlights of this live session? There are many, but I will limit myself
to just a few. There is a wonderful, long version of "Uptown Bumps"
(aka "The Bucket's Got A Hole In It") introduced by a Baby Dodds
lick by Bill. They use the riff that we know from the Kid Shots session
with George Lewis behind the second part of each solo. There's the quote
from Chaplin's "Smile" at the start of Darryl's solo on "When
You're Smiling", great idea! There's Roberta's singing on two numbers,
which made me think of early Emma Barrett. There's Darryl's long solo
on "Running Wild", building up to an exciting climax. There's
one of Darryl's own numbers ("I'm Your Hot Dog Man", well played
and sung with fine muted trumpet and trombone. Listen to Colin's bass
solo on "Shake It And Break It" with rim-shots from Bill. "St.Phillip
Street Breakdown" begins as the usual clarinet plus rhythm solo but
becomes later an excursion into boogie-woogie territory for everybody.
Instead of playing a fast flag-waver to end the concert, Bill introduces
a long slow blues number on which he sings himself. He combines "I
Believe I Can Make It By Myself" (Sammy Penn) with "Milk Cow
Blues" (Kid Thomas) and adds some autobiographical lyrics as well.
Great talking trombone by Brian! They called it "Home To Bed Blues"
and I'm sure everybody present at this fine concert went home to bed in
a happy state of mind. So will you after listening to these two great
- Marcel Joly
Cadence Magazine - U.S.A.
Trad Jazz continues to thrive in pockets of our society, and in Toronto,
the genre is alive and well. These two very recent recordings, led by
native New Orleans alto saxophonist Adams come from the same 2003 Classic
Jazz Society Toronto concert. Eleven of the 18 tunes on the two discs
are instrumentals, where Adams, clarinetist Carrick, and brass players
Vigorito and Towers, stretch out in robust salute to the roots of Jazz.
The rhythm team includes drummer and impresario Bissonnette along with
pianist Hunt, banjo play Mark, and bassist Bray. Together, the octet bring
the house down with a rousing series of tunes in which all the horn players
are routinely featured. Although Adams' New Orleans credentials and street
brass band exposure place him solidly in the Trad camp, he brings a non-traditional
tonality to the session. His sinewy timbre stands out against the more
orthodox sounds of his hometown music, making the concert a blending of
historic and updated concepts.
Three musicians provide the vocalizing in these happy, foot-tapping discs.
Adams injects a bluesy touch on four tunes, Hunt warbles on two songs,
and Bissonnette wails the slow Blues on the final cut. The vocals provide
diversity to the concert, particularly with the suggestive double entendre
lyrics of tunes such as Adams' "I'm Your Hot Dog Man ." The
performance, however, is mainly about musicians producing music from the
past in a joyous, feel-good manner. Booming trombone, high-flying clarinet,
brassy cornet and raucous rhythms merge with Adamas reedy alto to give
the atendees an extra large taste of the globe-trotting music of New Orleans.
It appears to have been fun for musicians and audience alike.
- Frank Rubolino
King's Jazz Review - England
Conscious that these takes are of the live Classic Jazz Society concert,
staged in May last year in Toronto, Canada, I was taken aback on the opening
number, Down In Honky Tonk Town, by the unique sound of the star altoist,
Darryl Adams, being most unfashionable to my ears. Having for years listened
to the likes of Ken Colyer, this Darryl Adams performance was even more
anathema to my longstanding likings for the marching bands - military
styles in the main. The other front liners here therefore made the day
for me when settling down to listen in on the debut tune of this twin
album CD set.
In reading of the Dr Colin Bray, president of the Classic Jazz Society
liner notes, that Darryl Adams in 1973, joined the Danny Barker Fairview
Baptist Church Brass Band, New Orleans, as a 12 years old, Junior High
School boy, and, that he, Adams, learned much under the tutelage of leading
famous figures in the genre the likes of Harold Dejan (alto). and Emanuel
Paul (tenor), gave some credence and understanding into what I was encountering.
"Our kind of jazz music", however slowly, is nevertheless evolving,
and, much of the credit for that phenomenon must surely rest with the
efforts and influences of Big Bill Bissonnette, such as for example in
the steps that he has taken here, with reference to the Darryl Adams experience.
The alto jazz artist, Adams, is settling in. Pianist Roberta Hunt gives
very nice vocals on Down By The Riverside. The string bass, banjo and
drums, unflappable, listen-ability, play an accentuated, invaluable part
towards making these medium, to medium fast - tempi, nice sounding Darryl
Adams recordings in total, such an interesting, invaluable asset.
Good opening on When Your Smiling with cornet influence on collective
musical instrumentation, whereupon, it is on this tune that Darryl comes
into his own, that is to say, with proven well articulated, agreeable,
melody-line vocal chords, excellently phrased, thus, blending in beautifully
with the attributes and ambience of the song - yes, and the alto quote;
"smile when you're weary - tenderness" noted.
Darryl can be heard in song on three more tunes, I'm Your Hot Dog Man,
the penned words are his own, Bye, Bye Blackbird, and on Vol 2 - Lord,
Captivating is Runnin' Wild, the opening number on Vol 2, all 10x60 seconds
of it, where one can savoir the Fred Vigorito cornet intro attributes,
the front-liners adding to make this section of the album swing inspiringly
with a touch of Blues' intonations therein giving good measure that speaks
here for itself as to how great is the sound of jazz.
This Uptown Bumps with the Brian Carrick clarinet, good New Orleans, marching
band styled riff accompaniment movements, trombonist Brian Towers, leader
of the Hot Five Jazzmakers of Toronto, and yes, Darryl Adams on alto,
will take a lot of beating by anyone running wild from places, a long
way away to do so, that is, as spelt out by the ivories and string bass
There is a finale spoken by Big Bill to concert goers that Brian Carrick
will be playing the metal clarinet presented to him by George Lewis, and
still strung together with rubber bands, to be featured on St Phillips
Street Breakdown a number made famous by George. Well, it turns out to
be the battle of the two reedmen, stirred along by one daring Cornetist
- Great stuff that I'm sure you'll think likewise.
There is a startling outrider to the concert with vocals on it by Big
Bill himself entitled Home To Bed Blues and, what a fantastic rounding
up to the album. "I believe" that this CD twin set has empathy
in its build up that will appeal to a vast listening audience East of
London, Middlesex, England, crossing Europe, traversing Asia, reaching
the Islands of the East China Sea. Well, well now.
- Ian King
EuroClub.com - Internet Radio Program
This is a truly international recording. Alto sax man Darryl Adams is
from New Orleans, clarinettist Brian Carrick from England, trumpet man
Fred Vigorito, banjoist Emil Mark and drummer Big Bill Bissonnette are
American and the rest of the band is all Canadian - Brian Towers - trombone,
Roberta Hunt - piano and Colin Bray - string bass. And as if to emphasize
the United National aspect the session was recorded at a Classic Jazz
Society of Toronto concert in Toronto. The occasion was one of those special
events that Colin Bray as President of the Classic Jazz Society of Toronto
is able to organize when he invites special guests to join local men for
a series of sessions.
It can be with this type of 'pick up band' session that the different
personalities both musical and psychological don't mix with disastrous
results. On this occasion they did more than just mix - they gelled in
an almost magical manner. Vigorito's Kid Thomas inspired super hot trumpet
drives the band to great heights of excitement and feeling.
They really romp and obviously have a ball throughout. Each fits with
the other as if they'd been together for years and yet they have a freshness
that can only come when each man respects what the next is doing and is
inspired by it. We're fortunate that Jazz Crusade was on hand to record
the proceedings that night in May last year when this concert took place
- it's a gem and gives the lie to those who claim that our music is dying.
On this showing it's very much alive and kicking.
- Brian Harvey
Mississippi Rag - April 2005 - American
I wonder if the jazz fans who live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, realize
how lucky they are to have the Classic Jazz Society of Toronto, which
puts on such excellent concerts of tradixieland jazz as the one represented
on these two fine compact discs.
Darryl Adams, a product of Danny Barker's Fairview Baptist Church Brass
Band, plays in the line of Captain John Handy and Louis Jordan. He's little
known outside of New Orleans where he plays primarily in the brass bands
of the New Orleans street parades. He also, like Cap'n Handy and Louis
Jordan, is an entertaining singer of jump jazz blues material - witness
his double entendre "I'm Your Hot Dog Man." Subtle he's not.
Fun he is. Cornetist Fred Vigorito and drummer Big Bill Bissonnette are
imported from Connecticut. Clarinetist Brian Carrick comes from the United
Kingdom. Trombonist Brian Tbwers, pianist/singer Roberta Hunt and bassist
Colin Bray reside in Toronto. In fact, Bray is president of the Classic
Jazz Society which put on this concert. I'm not sure just where banjoist
Emil Mark is from, but he works a lot around New England and is represented
on quite a few of the records put out by Big Bill's Jazz Crusade label.
But, as you can tell from the listings above, these guys never get very
far from the roots of the Crescent City.
Not that I'd expect to hear numbers like "Honeysuckle Rose,"
"When You're Smiling" or "Bye Bye Blackbird" in a
New Orleans street parade, but many of the same musicians who play in
the brass bands play in the clubs and dance halls as well. And whoever
picked "Down In Honky Tonk Town" as the opening tune for the
concert knew what they were doing; the band plays the heck out of it.
Along with Darryl Adams' alto sax and Big Bill's stompin' drums, I'm particularly
impressed with Brian Car-rick's clarinet work and Fred Vigorito's cornet,
which Colin Bray refers to in his liner notes as being in the Kid Thomas
mold. While I'm not familiar enough with Kid Thomas to agree or disagree,
I do hear a lot of Muggsy Spanier in Vigorito's playing, particularly
on "It's A Long Way lb Tipperary."
In the liner notes to these CDs, Colin Bray points out that this concert
of the Classic Jazz Society of Toronto took place during the SARS virus
scare. I find it encouraging that even during such a serious epidemic
situation the importance of good music was not ignored but, in fact, perpetuated
as a document for future reference and enjoyment.
- Joe H. Klee
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