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Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Chicago Jazz - Muggsy Spanier


St. James Infirmary Blues

Chicago Jazz
Muggsy Spanier
Design: Reid Miles
Photo: Emerick Bronson
RKO Records ULP-130

From the back cover: Leading his group in typical hard-hitting, breezy style, Muggsy Spanier marches through such jazz standards as "The Darktown Strutter's Ball, "When The Saints Go Marching In", "Jazz Me Blues" and "Ja-Da", providing the inimitable tones and beat that he has been perfecting during his forty-year career. For Muggsy Spanier plays the cornet as only an artist who has lived and breathed the sound of jazz all his life can play it. As a young boy, Muggsy listened avidly to the records of Mamie Smith, Bessie Smith and the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. When he was 14, he heard King Oliver's band for the first time. Muggsy knew that what he wanted to do most in life was play like King Oliver. He spent every hour he could filling in his life completely with the sound of Oliver's music by hanging around the bandstand at the Royal Gardens and anywhere else Oliver played. Then one night this Irish kid, born Francis Joseph Spanier, was permitted to sit in and play with the band, a thrill he was never to forget in all the years to follow – even when he went on to play with all the great bands.

Muggsy developed his style with many of the illustrious bands of show business – the musicians who were producing the music the people wanted to hear – The Dorsey Brothers, Benny Goodman, Fats Waller, George Brunis, and Ted Lewis, to name a few. Muggsy went on to become a great featured soloist and to lead his own band, as he does in this album. Each member of this band is an expert on his own particular instrument... Red Richards on piano, Joe Barufaldi on clarinet, Bill Johnson on trombone, Cy Nelson on bass and Billy Gaeto on drums. Joining in with Muggsy on the cornet, they belt out the selections with consummate skill, vigor and spirit.

The Darktown Strutter's Ball
St. James Infirmary Blues
When The Saints Go Marching In
Jazz Me Blues
Tin Roof Blues
Muskrat Ramble
At The Jazz Band Ball
Some Day, Sweetheart

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