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Sharkey Bonano - At The Municipal Auditorium 1949 [BCD-523] CD Review by Scott Yanow

Date Posted: 2012-04-08

A hard-driving New Orleans trumpeter, Sharkey Bonano was a strong attraction in the Crescent City during the 1940's and ‘50s. He could always be relied upon to create spirited Dixieland with his sextet.

At The Municipal Auditorium 1949 consists of two previously unreleased minisets including one that is a little unusual. Alec Templeton was a classically trained pianist who was known for his concert tours, novelty records and appearances on the radio (and later television). He was also a big fan of traditional jazz. In Nov. 1949 he had the opportunity to sit in with Bonano's band at a sold out concert. The first six selections on this CD are from that date. One can hear the audience's appreciation and surprised applause after Templeton's solo on the opening "Hindustan" for he clearly knew and understood the style. Templeton, while occasionally sounding a little more modern in his chord voicings, fits in very well.

The Bonano band of the time also featured clarinetist Lester Bouchon, trombonist Santo Pecora (who is heard throughout in top form), bassist Chink Martin, and Monk Hazel on drums and occasional mellophone solo. The Templeton portion of the CD includes such songs as "Over The Waves," "Indiana" and "After You've Gone." The second half of this disc, from the same month, features the identical sextet except with Bonano's regular pianist Jeff Riddick. It is highlighted by enthusiastic versions of "Zero," "Farewell Blues" and (surprisingly) "How High The Moon."

Since many of Sharkey Bonano's studio recordings are out of print, and since the music on this disc is played creatively within the style, At The Municipal Auditorium 1949 is highly recommended to fans of New Orleans jazz. It is available from www.jazzology.com.

- Scott Yanow

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