Saturday, July 02, 2011

Teddy Riley Takes Us To Honky Tonk Town

The late Teddy Riley had a lengthy career in new Orleans music that included stints with Joe Avery, Henry Allen Sr’s Brass Band, Roy Brown’s Mighty Mighty Men, Fats Domino, Champion Jack Dupree, Heritage Hall Jazz Band, and others spanning traditional New Orleans Jazz and rhythm and blues. Not one of the best known of the traditional jazz trumpeters, Riley is heard on a 1979 studio date along with four songs from a 1985 live performance, Honky Tonk Town ’79 (504 Records).

The band for the studio date included Walden ‘Frog’ Joseph on trombone, Manny Crusto on clarinet, Jeanette Kimball on piano and John Robichaux on drums and vocal. Interesting on this date is Crusto who was mostly a rhythm and blues saxophonist who had been working with Professor Longhair. On the live date, the band included Wendell Eugene was on trombone, Clarence Ford on clarinet and Walter Payton on bass.

Its a spirited collection of traditional jazz in the vein of such bands as George Lewis and Kid Howard. The music is played with enthusiasm and a folkish charm over such songs as Down in Honky Tonk, Moonlight Bay, There’ll Be Some Changes Made, Let Me Call You Sweetheart, and Avalon. Highlights of the studio sides are the exhilarating Avalon, and Just Blues. There are rough edges on the ensemble work, but the enthusiasm of the band more than compensates and Riley plays with a bright tone and bluesy feel.

The four very spirited live recordings include such staples of the repertoire as Panama, Clarinet Marmalade, Bogalusa Strut, and Shake It and Break It, one of the two Riley vocals on this disc. This recording, and others on the 504 label (504 being the area code containing New Orleans), can be purchased at the Louisiana Music Factory, On you tube, there are some clips of Riley as part of the Louis Cottrell Jazz Band from a Perry Como show in the 1970s including this one of “Dippermouth Blues,”

This was a purchase.

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