Personnel: Sweet Emma Barrett, Percy Humphrey, Jim Robinson, Willie Humphrey, Emanuel Sayles, McNeal Breaux, Josiah Frasier.
Recorded in January 1961. Originally released on Riverside (9364).
This CD reissue of the future members of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band is at such a high level it makes one wonder why this group had so many erratic recordings. Pianist Emma Barrett (who also takes four vocals) is in fine form and trombonist Jim Robinson was always a major asset to any New Orleans jazz band, but it is the performances of trumpeter Percy Humphrey (who never sounded better on record) and his brother, clarinetist Willie, that really makes this music special. Together the septet plays such songs as "Bill Bailey," "Just a Little While to Stay Here," and "The Saints" with drive, enthusiasm, and surprising musicianship. It's essential music for all New Orleans jazz fans. ~ Scott Yanow