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Reviewers: Don Mather, Marc Bridle, Ian Lace, Peter Woolf, Gerald Fenech

Tommy Ladnier - Centenary Issue
Steppin' On The Blues

  1. Play That Thing.
  2. Ida Cox's Lawdy, Lawdy Blues
  3. Kentucky Man Blues.
  4. Steppin On The blues
  5. Travellin' Blues
  6. Galion Stomp
  7. The Chant
  8. Snag It
  9. St Louis Shuffle
  10. Dyin'By The Hour
  11. Foolish Man Blues.
  12. Sweetie, Dear
  13. I've Found a New Baby
  14. Maple Leaf Rag
  15. Shag
  16. Comin' On With The Come On
  17. Weary Blues
  18. Really The Blues
  19. When You and I Were Young Maggie
  20. Ja-Da
  21. Royal garden Blues
  22. If You See Me Comin'
  23. I Ain't Gonna Give Nobody None of This Jelly Roll
  24. Everybody Loves My Baby
  25. Double Crossin' Papa

ASVmono CD AJA5353 Living Era
 Amazon UK  Amazon USA around £7-8

Tommy Ladnier was born in Mandeville, Louisiana in 1900, by the time he was 14 he was having Trumpet lessons from Bunk Johnson and at the age of 18, he was in Charlie Creath's Band in St Louis alongside the likes of Zutty Singleton and Pops Foster. In 1924 he joined King Oliver's Band as a replacement for a jazz legend, Louis Armstrong no less.

At the age of 13, when I first took an interest in jazz ( that was in 1949 by the way), the name of Tommy Ladnier was regularly on the lips of the jazz fans of that time. To be honest, until I received this album, I had forgotten about him and this album was a welcome reminder. He is heard in many different Bands and the record covers the period 1923 to 1939, the year of his death.

He lived in France for a couple of years in about 1930 and returned to the USA in 1932, to join the Noble Sissle Band, leaving in 1923 to join Sidney Bechet's New Orleans Feetwarmers. The 1926 Fletcher Henderson recording of The Chant is included on the album, it is a classic Big Band track of the era.  

Between 1934 and 38, the popularity of "hot" negro music faded in the USA and Ladnier could not get work as a musician. In 1938 Hughes Panassie, the famous French jazz critic arrived in the USA, with a mission to record a band that epitomised the best in New Orleans music. With some difficulty, Ladnier was located and in conjunction with Mezz Mezzrow, Sidney Bechet and others, he created some of the finest jazz of the 1930's . Several tracks of this band are included on the album. Ladnier was back in business in a big way, it was unfortunate therefore that only a year later he died of a heart attack at the age of 39.

The ASV team are to be congratulated on the production of an album which recalls the short life of a very under rated Trumpet player.


Don Mather

Don Mather is a Saxophone Player and Bandleader based in Coventry


Don Mather

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