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Album of the week:
Ken Mathieson’s Classic Jazz Orchestra, Clarinet Gumbo (Lake)
The authentic sounds of New Orleans are captured in this recording made in the Gorbals in just one day, a tribute to the musicians’ quality and ability to stay focused at the highest level for what isn’t so much a recreation as a continuation of the work of jazz masters from Jelly Roll Morton to Charles Mingus.
Drummer Ken Mathieson’s Classic Jazz Orchestra was heading towards its tenth anniversary at the time and is joined by the California-born clarinettist who has been absorbed into the New Orleans tradition, Evan Christopher.
It’s more than a celebration of great clarinet playing, although with the CJO’s Dick Lee and Martin Foster joining Christopher to make a trio of strong individualists, it succeeds as that alone.
Mathieson’s imagined meeting of Morton and Mingus on the latter’s Jelly Roll fuses two strong personalities with enjoyably fascinating results from all concerned and the net outcome is jazz with the tang of a bygone era but the spirit of right now.
From The Sunday Herald, October 12, 2014.
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