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Norrie Cox & His New Orleans Stompers - cassette
Cassette Tape SIDE "A"
1) Big Chief Battle Axe

2) Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen

3) Ole Miss

4) On Treasure Island

5) Big Mamou

1) Sobbin' Blues

2) Whenever You're Lonesome, Just Telephone Me

3) On The Road To Home Sweet Home

4) New Iberia Blues

5) Ti-Pi-Tin


Charlie DeVore, cornet

Jim Klippert, trombone

Norrie Cox, clarinet

Mike Carrell, banjo and guitar

Bill Evans, bass

Donald "Doggie" Berg, drums

Liner Notes By: Norrie Cox


Recorded October 20, 1990 in Madison, WI.
Reviewed by Paige Van Vorst
An exerpt from The Mississippi Rag, 3/94

Clarinetist Norrie Cox has been leading a one-man jazz revival in the Milwaukee area, playing New Orleans jazz with his Stompers, West Coast jazz with the Riverboat Ramblers, for your dining dancing pleasure with a trio, and leading an inner-city youth jazz band sponsored by the Scouts.

This is a classic New Orleans band, a six-piece pianoless unit playing in a largely ensemble style. There are no pyrotechnics here, unless you are turned on (as I am) by hearing beautifully-recorded ensemble jazz by people who actually understand how to play it...

The session leads off with a rousing rendition of "Big Chief Battleaxe," a Bunk-associated number that probably shouldn't be played in these politically correct times (Bill Russell, for one, played Indian songs only with great reluctance as he thought them to be the Native American equivalent of Uncle Tom), but which I can't resist.

"Ti-Pi-Tin," a swing-era anthem long in disuse until remembered by New Orleans bands in the 1970s, is led off by a muted Charlie DeVore, runs through several ensemble choruses before we hear from Klippert, then Cox, who has a way of sort of easing into a solo - he starts off querulously, then picks up steam three or four bars into the outing until he's really in a groove by the end.

"Ole Miss" is taken at what is ideal tempo for the number, exposing the various themes beautifully without resorting to any of the "Bugle Call Rag" flagwaving one associates with the theme...

"On the Trail to Home Sweet Home" (or "On the Road to Home Sweet Home" as is shown on the tape) is one of the real rarities of New Orleans jazz. Jim Robinson always spoke highly of his days with the Sam Morgan band and liked to play Morgan numbers, but always complained that no one knew "On the Trail to Home Sweet Home." DeVore finally told him that no one knew it because, unlike the other Morgan numbers, it had never been recorded and no one had ever heard it. Jim began humming it and, despite not having played the tune in over 40 years, came up with the whole number correctly, and I'm glad. The band gives a performance that would have gladdened Jim.

"Big Mamou" is the other rarity here. The only recording I've ever heard of the tune was by Billie and DeDe Pierce in the Folkways "Music of New Orleans" series. It's a simple but striking number with a half-Cajun, half-English vocal from Klippert, and swings from beginning to end.

"New Iberia Blues" pays tribute to Bunk and features some superb ensemble playing before getting into a series of "Joe Avery's Piece"-style breaks. The recording is beautiful here and one can really get inside the music, particularly when listening under headphones.

This is one cassette that I can't do without. The rhythm section works well, with outstanding drumming from Berg and steady rhythm from Carrell and Evans. One just doesn't get this kind of stuff much anymore...

Reprinted from The Mississippi Rag, 3/94

All CD's are $15.00 (postpaid anywhere in the US, $18.00 outside US)

All cassettes are $10.00 (postpaid anywhere in US, $13.00 outside US)
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WAUNAKEE, WI 53597-0383 USA
Copyright ©2006
Mutt Productions
PO Box 383
Waunakee, WI 53597-0383
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