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Reviewers: Don Mather, Tony Augarde, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



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PEE WEE HUNT

Twelfth Street Rag

Living Era CD AJA 5607

 

 

 
1. Twelfth Street Rag
2. Fare Thee Well, Annabelle
3. Lookie, Lookie, Lookie, Here Comes Cookie
4. Rockin' Chair
5. One Dozen Roses
6. Muskrat Ramble
7. After You've Gone
8. Basin Street Blues
9. The Preacher And The Bear
10. On The Sunny Side Of The Street
11. Somebody Else, Not Me
12. Wabash Blues
13. Royal Garden Blues
14. High Society
15. Clarinet Marmalade
16. Bessie Couldn't Help It
17. Dill Pickles Rag
18. Milenberg Joys
19. The Charleston
20. Copenhagen
21. Darktown Strutters' Ball
22. Snag It
23. San
24. So Blue
25. South Rampart Street Parade
26. Original Dixieland One-Step
27. Fidgety Feet
28. Oh!

Trombonist Walter "Pee Wee" Hunt is in danger of being dismissed as a one-hit wonder, since everyone of a certain age knows his Twelfth Street Rag but probably none of his other recordings. Yet he played for Jean Goldkette’s band in the 1920s and then became a founder member of the Casa Loma Orchestra, with which he stayed from 1929 to 1943 - before forming his own ensemble.

The CD opens appropriately with Twelfth Street Rag, which typifies much of Pee Wee Hunt’s work. It’s brightly swinging Dixieland jazz, with touches of humour which can also be heard in other tracks on this disc. Pee Wee supplies good-natured vocals to such songs as The Preacher and the Bear and Lookie, Lookie, Lookie, Here ComesCookie, and he plays some effective trombone.

Although most of the tracks are by Pee Wee’s own band, there are four examples by the Casa Loma Orchestra, including two featuring guest Louis Armstrong, who duets with Pee Wee on Rockin’ Chair. None of the music is particularly profound but it is well played, and the tongue-in-cheek approach to Dixieland classics adds to its accessibility. With 28 tracks totalling more than 76 minutes, this is a generous sample of the work of a musician who was rather more than a one-hit wonder.


Tony Augarde

 



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