ALBERT NICHOLAS in Europe
Albert Nicholas was one of the finest musicians ever produced by New Orleans This album from the great clarinettist's later years finds him on peak form. It features him on previously unheard tracks from concerts in Britain, Belgium and Poland.
Albert Nicholas was one of the giants of New Orleans jazz and Upbeat is proud to include him in their catalogue.
Producer Mike Pointon has written an accompanying booklet including many personal anecdotes of Nicholas.
Tracks 1-7 Albert Nicholas, clarinet with The New Iberia Stompers Cambridge Festival 1972
Cuff Billett trumpet and Mike Casimir trombone on tracks 1 and 2 only
Dick Cook clarinet track 7 only
Andrew Hall piano - Terry Wood guitar - Dick Edser bass - Norman Emberson drums
Tracks 8 - 10 Albert Nicholas, clarinet with Paul Closset's Dixieland Gamblers Brussels 1972
Paul Closset trumpet - Andre van Lint piano - 'Tif' bass - Bruno Castelucci drums
Tracks 11-14 Albert Nicholas Orchestra - Poland June 1957
with Hans Wolf Schneider trombone (tracks 12-14) - Andrzej Kurylewicz piano - Harold Muller bass - Thomas Leo Kuck drums
1. China Boy
2. Old Fashioned Love
3. C-Jam Blues
4. New Orleans
5. Rose Room
6. Black and Blue
7. Oh! Lady Be Good
8. Royal Garden Blues
9. Careless Love
11. Lover Come Back to Me
12. Basin Street Blues
13. That's A Plenty
14. New Orleans Blues
Reviews of This Recording
One of the finest clarinetists to emerge from New Orleans and be active in the 1920s, Albert Nicholas (1900-73) worked with King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton and Luis Russell among others, spending time in the 1930s with the Louis Armstrong Orchestra. He never quite achieved the fame and influence of Johnny Dodds or Sidney Bechet but he was often on their level and he had his own distinctive sound along with impressive technique. Nicholas moved permanently to Paris in 1953, a few years after Bechet, spending his final two decades working as often as he wanted. His absence from the U.S. resulted in him being underrated by many American jazz fans but he was near the top of his field during this time.
Albert Nicholas In Europe consists of three previously unreleased live performances, two from his final year. Nicholas sounds enthusiastic, fluent and creative during a seven song set from May 28, 1972 with members of the New Iberia Stompers in England. He jams “China Boy” and “Old Fashioned Love” with the septet, is the only horn on four features (including “Rose Room”), and shares the spotlight with clarinetist Dick Cook during “Lady Be Good.” A slightly earlier session (Feb. 6, 1972) from Switzerland has Nicholas playing three standards (including “Royal Garden Blues”) with a fine quintet, and there are also four numbers from June 18, 1957 with an excellent group comprised of Polish pianist Andrzej Kurylewicz and three Germans, performed in Poland. Nicholas’ style and sound were virtually unchanged during the 15 year period covered by the CD.
There are not an excess of Albert Nicholas recordings currently available so the release of this CD is particularly welcome. Since the performances on the disc are consistently inspired and feature the clarinettist in peak form, this set is highly recommended.
NIGHTS AT THE TURNTABLE by Scott Yanow