Rare Cuts: Well Done Vol. 5
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  • Three different groups, all of which feature clarinetist Edmond Hall as a sideman, are reissued on this CD. First are the four titles from a particularly hot group led by trumpeter Henry "Red" Allen in 1940. The septet jams its way through four heated New Orleans favorites (including "King Porter Stomp") with Allen and Hall making a mutually inspiring team. The next 13 selections are obscure performances from 1947 that are quite notable for including some of trumpeter Punch Miller's hottest playing on record. He and Hall are joined on some selections by trombonist Jimmy Archey along with a rhythm section headed by the great pianist Ralph Sutton. The final four numbers are historical curiosities but rather disappointing, featuring composer W.C. Handy in 1939 showing that his cornet playing was unswinging and very straight. Despite being joined by an all-star group mostly drawn from the Louis Armstrong big band (other than Hall), Handy sounds inflexible and 30 years behind the times. It's a pity, since these are the only examples of him playing cornet after the early '20s, but the other two sets make Vol. 5 well worth acquiring anyway. ~ Scott Yanow
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