Lou Busch was a major arranger/conductor who created an alter ego for himself in the guise of Joe 'Fingers' Carr, the ragtime and honky-tonk pianist. Lou Busch, who played piano with Hal Kemp in the '30s, re-emerged in the '50s and '60s as a ragtime revivalist. These 1960 and 1961 LPs (the latter with Ira Ironstrings) capture his finest finger work as you hear six sweet medleys plus Too Fat Polka; Stumbling, and more!
By 1929, Red Nichols had been active as a recording artist for nearly eight years. He had been making a name for himself as a leader since 1925, usually in the company of a superhuman trombonist by the name of Miff Mole. While some folks might focus upon the presence of Jimmy Dorsey, seasoned early jazz addicts will also cherish the opportunity to commune with the spirits of Miff Mole, Vic Berton and Arthur Schutt. The first three selections reveal what these men were able to accomplish under optimal conditions,( i.e. without vocals or violins). The band is wonderful, especially when Adrian Rollini introduces "Allah's Holiday" with the bass saxophone or takes a weird solo during "Roses of Picardy" using an ebonite tube full of holes with a clarinet mouthpiece stuck in the end of it…
Italian ensemble Alter Ego have made their name playing the post-minimalism of composers as diverse as Louis Andriessen, David Lang and Frederic Rzewski. Now they turn their attention to pre-, or perhaps more accurately, prototype minimalism in this fine two-disc survey of early Philip Glass. Rejecting the seamless cross-stitching and salamander slither of Glass’s own ensemble, Alter Ego opt for a brassier and more strident approach. This strategy proposes a subtly alternative view about which the composer obviously approves – Orange Mountain Music is his own label.
I've been too busy enjoying the music of Mostly Other People Do the Killing (MOPTDK) to realize how controversial they've become. If you doubt their ability to rile the jazz world, all you have to do is post one of their videos on your Facebook page and wait for the ensuing kerfuffle to begin. The core band is comprised of four virtuoso instrumentalists, free-spirits who think nothing of hopping from honest-to-god punk rock, to free improv, to hard bop, to Americana, and back; sometimes in the space of a single track. Many of their original compositions, written by bassist Moppa Elliott, have the outward appearance of overlooked post-bop and bebop gems from the mid-1950s and early 60s.