Personnel: Jackie Coon (vocals, flugelhorn); Tom Gekler (vocals, trombone); Rick Fay (clarinet, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Connie Jones (cornet); Matt Perrine (sousaphone); Bob Molinelli (piano, tambourine); Charlie Lodice (drums).
Audio Mixer: Gary Baldassari.
Liner Note Author: Mat Domber.
Recording information: Ultrasonic Studios, New Orleans, LA (02/22/1993/02/24/1993).
The two sessions from 1993 included on this 2005 CD were previously unreleased. The proceeds from this joyous music is being donated to the Jazz Foundation of America for the benefit of New Orleans musicians who suffered major losses during Hurricane Katrina. Four of the selections, "The Second Line," "Joe Avery's Place" (which is taken slower than usual), "Here Comes Santa Claus," and "Jambalaya," feature a marching band with four horns, pianist Bob Molinelli playing tambourine, Matt Perrine on sousaphone taking the place of bassist John Loupe, and Richard Taylor added on bass drum. That project is so happy that it is a pity that this mini-set is not an entire CD by itself. However the remainder of the CD is of high quality too, a happy trad jazz date. The Bixish cornet of Connie Jones contrasts well with the laid-back fl쳌gelhorn of Jackie Coon and it is good to hear the late saxophonist Rick Fay again. Coon takes an effective vocal on "The Winin' Boy Blues" while trombonist Tom Gekler's very low voice on "The Preacher" is humorous. Overall The Joys of New Orleans is an infectious and spirited set, making one hope that New Orleans will be that way again in the future. ~ Scott Yanow