The Jazz Kings: I Must Have It!

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LABELS: Stomp Off
WORKS: The Jazz Kings: I Must Have It!


America’s revivalist movement – returning to the roots of jazz – continues to flourish away from most media attention, unknown except to dedicated followers of the style. Those of us in on the secret are enjoying music that shames much other American music for its energy, authenticity and inventiveness. Here’s one of the mainstays of the style, John Gill, with a band he assembled in New York to fill in on a date, and which has been together since.


Orange Kellin’s superbly serpentine clarinet-playing is perhaps the star of the session, which strings together 22 chestnuts from the 1920s repertoire with no suspicion of selfconsciousness. At the piano is Hank Ross, a New York veteran since the 1940s. Taking much of their material from King Oliver’s book only adds to the fun, and there can never be too many versions of his ‘Dixie Syncopators’ classic ‘Wa Wa Wa’. The 79 minutes on offer here just fly past. Richard Cook