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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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Economy Hall Breakdown

Delmark DE 235



1. Economy Hall Breakdown
2. 2.19 Blues
3. Right Now Is The Right Time
4. St. Peter Street Breakdown
5. Atlanta Blues
6. Put On You Old Grey Bonnet
7. Bye And Bye
8. Postman's Lament
9. Stompin' For Sonny
10. Bucktown Shuffle
11. Economy Hall Breakdown (alternate take)
12. Postman's Lament (alternate take)
Jim Robinson Trombone, vocals (track 7)
Johnny Wiggs - Cornet
Raymond Burke - Clarinet
Bob Greene - Piano
Allan Jaffe - Tuba
Yoichi Kimura Drums.


"Big" Jim Robinson was a legend of New Orleans jazz, famed for his playing with the likes of George Lewis, Bunk Johnson and Percy Humphrey. From 1960 until his death in 1976, he was a fixture at the famous Preservation Hall in New Orleans, where this album was recorded in 1965.

Jim Robinson was a big man with a big trombone tone to match. Like many of his colleagues, he was a forceful rather than subtle player, but this album captures the authentic atmosphere of New Orleans and its jazz roots. A track like 2.19 Blues conveys the conviction of Jim's playing, with typical glissandi and punchy contributions to the ensemble. In fact some of the subtlest playing comes from clarinettist Raymond Burke, whose solos have the emotional appeal of George Lewis. Cornettist Johnny Wiggs plays the lead role well, although his rather pinched tone lacks the warmth of his idol, Bix Beiderbecke.

Pianist Bob Greene contributes some neat solos but is swamped by the rest of the band in ensemble passages. The proprietor of Preservation Hall, Allan Jaffe, makes his recording debut on tuba, and Japanese drummer Yoichi Kimura thrusts the band along with his traditional-style playing: full of rolls and woodblock punctuations.

At a time when we have been made aware of the threat to the tradition which New Orleans represents, this CD illustrates the music which New Orleans originated and still keeps alive. If you're wondering about the origin of the album title, it refers to a dance hall in New Orleans which was the headquarters of the Economy and Mutual Aid Association. It was dismantled shortly before this recording was made.

Tony Augarde





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