Jazz Crusade Audio Sampler Catalog
JCCD-3011: Sammy Rimington - Watering the Roots
Sammy Rimington [cl], Big Bill Bissonnette [tb], Eric
Webster [bn], Ken Matthews [sbs], Colin Bowdin [dm]
JCCD-3011: Sammy Rimington - Watering the Roots
Jazz Review.com - U.S.A.
This happy session is intended as a tribute to George Lewis, Big Jim
Robinson, Lawrence Marrero, Alcide "Slow Drag" Pavageau and
Baby Dodds. The revival group is very well chosen for this endeavor as
some players actually received lessons from their idols. The CD offers
a generous 16 tunes recorded at a venue in Maidstone, England in early
1995. The tunes are carefully selected vehicles for the soloists and represent
pieces often performed by the veteran New Orleans musicians being honored.
Included are Ice Cream, Lord Let Me In The Lifeboat, Willie The Weeper,
Trouble In Mind,Old Fashioned Love and a superb rollicking rendition of
Brahm's Cradle Song. The entire performance is an exercise in rompin',
stompin' fun and reminds me of the hundreds of evenings I spent at Moose
Hall in Montreal, during the 60's listening to the city's own New Orleans
revival bands. I often sat-in myself when they were "desperately"
short of a drummer, though I found the New Orleans style impossible to
master. Drummer Colin Bowden finds no difficulty with the N.O. groove
on this recording and he sparkles on Willie the Weeper, When You and I
Were Young Maggie and every tune he touches.
Gene Miller: - Jazz Critic - U.S.A.
For more than 30 years, Big Bill Bissonnette has been recording and playing
authentic New Orleans jazz -the music of George Lewis, Jim Robinson, Lawrence
Marrero, Slow Drag Pavageau and Baby Dodds. Now, after 30 years, hardly
a man survives of that generation of musicians, so anyone who wants to
play and record genuine New Orleans jazz must make a choice. He can attempt
either a literal recreation of classic performances or he can try to play
in their spirit. In this outstanding CD, Bill wisely chose the later.
Joe Leheny - Jazz Critic - U.S.A.
The subtitle to this disc is "A tribute to George, Big Jim, Lawrence,
Slow Drag & Baby," and this is exactly what the musicians who
play on it have attempted to provide. They are not George, Big Jim and
the others of course. No one could be. Is there a clarinetist in the world
today, though, who brings George Lewis to mind more effortlessly than
Sammy Rimington does? For that matter, is there a traditonal jazz clarinetist
in the world today who is better than Sammy? For me the answer to both
questions has to be, "No."
Jazz Rag - New Zealand
With this line-up this CD is more than just evocative, it is what this
music is all about. Good taste, good dynamics and a moving choice of titles.
Nice mix of popular songs from yesterday with a couple of surprises [Brahm's
Cradle Song and Wild Irish Rose]. This is tastefully played New Orleans
jazz which is laid back, relaxing and full of feeling and I would strongly
recommend this CD especially to those who are really into the NO style
of music while it may not appeal to those who merely "love trad.'
The difference is like comparing a "mini" to a Rolls in the
car world. Seventy minutes of suberb playing time. This is value for anyone's
money -buy it!
West Coast Rag - U. S. A.
Clarinetist Sammy Rimington, one of my favorite living musicians, has
a clear sparkling tone, plenty of facility, and a genius for relentlessly
swinging, consistently melodic lines that, while clearly indebted to George
Lewis, bear a unique Rimington stamp. He is right at home on this 70-minute
1/2/95 quintet session, riding over a hitting-on-all-cylinders British
rhythm section of banjoist Eric Webster, string bassist Ken Matthews and
drummer Colin JJowden, sharing front-line duties with a frequent colleague
over the decades, Yank trombonist Big Bill Bissonnette. (Gritty tenor
AMG **** Review - U. S. Jazz Guide
On one chilly morning in January 1995, a group of dedicated, experienced,
and talented traditional New Orleans jazz players gathered in a studio
to pay tribute to some of the giants of that jazz genre, namely clarinet
player George Lewis, trombonist Big Jim Robinson, Lawrence Marrero (who
played banjo for Lewis), bass player Alcide "Slow Drag" Pavageau,
and drum master Baby Dodds. These five, and those they performed with,
make up a sizeable chunk of the history of jazz up to the beginning of
the 1930s. And what a tribute this is. Sincerity and love just ooze from
the speakers. Big Bill Bissonnette puts on the hat of mentor Robinson.
Sammy Rimington's authentic Lorenzo Tio Jr., New Orleans-influenced clarinet
wails and plays counter-melodies against Bissonnette's trombone on such
magnificent outpourings as "I'm Alone Because I Love You." Then
he does a swinging solo on "My Wild Irish Rose" before falling
back to counter the trombone. Eric Webster's plucked banjo keeps a propulsive
beat on this track and on virtually every other cut. Colin Bowden's drums
keep the time going, exploding now and then on such cuts as "Willie
the Weeper." A Preservation Hall Jazz Band favorite, "Ice Cream,"
also favored by New Orleans icon Percy Humphrey, as always is a lot of
fun to hear. This album is a reminder of why this jazz style was so popular
and to this day continues to be enjoyed by many all over the world, especially
in Europe. An album like this effectively pushes aside critics' claim
that it's passe and one piece sounds just like any other. Recommended.
Jazz Journal International - British Magazine
The line-up echoes that of the famous American Music recordings
featuring George Lewis and Jim Robinson, and this CD is presented
as a tribute to that group of musicians-appropriately enough since Sammy
Rimington is probably the closest living clarinettist to George and Colin
Bowden stands in a similar relationship to Baby Dodds. Needless to
say, the two,of them play as to the manner born in this idiom, and the
other two rhythm men are workmanlike. Bill Bissonnette's adoration of
Jim Robinson is well known, and he essays his idol's manner with diligence
and some success, capturing that out-of-tuneness which sometimes
marred Big Jim's work. Sammy, in particular, is playing so beautifully.
Bill Bissonnette has done much good in the promotion of latter-day New
Orleans music, and in that context his trombone playing has, in the past,
been acceptable if limited.
Jazz Journal International - British Magazine [2nd review]
This is volume three of a series on Bissonnette's own label, presenting
recordings of UK musicians selected by Bissonnette who play in the basic
purist New Orleans style. Like a 1965 Bissonnette album (which also included
Rimington, and Jim Robinson himself on trombone), this release seeks to
recreate the sound of Robinson's 1944 recordings for the American
Music label. Finest of these was a trum-petless version of Ice Cream,
a classic example of New Orleans ensemble playing at its most joyous
and exciting. Bill reveals that Robinson, perhaps understandably,
declined to play this tune on the 1965 recording. The recreation
on this album, though inevitably inferior to the original, is nevertheless
a very creditable performance, and the best track on the album. Bill himself
has my full respect as a doughty champion of authentic New Orleans
style jazz, but I must confess that his playing is too rough and primitive
for my ears. He boots along forcefully but it's a very bumpy ride in places.
His muted work on Indian Love Call and Lonesome Road was on the whole
more effective. His limitations are fully exposed by the two-piece front
line format, and the album needed a Bunk Johnson to complement the
roles of Lewis, Robinson, Slow Drag, Marrero and Dodds performed by the
other musicians. The rhythm section swings well, exactly in the idiom,
with Bowden the obvious choice on drums. However, it is Sammy's album
all the way. He is tirelessly creative, capturing (where other Lewis disciples
fail) not only the general shape of Lewis's phrasing, but more importantly
the sheer spiritual energy and expressive power. He is admirable on a
well-intentioned but otherwise undistinguished album.