The great musicianship and spirit of the Firehouse Five Plus Two is at its best in this album. I believe the group did its best work in the years when George Probert played soprano sax with them, and this CD contains some of Probert's finest work. His extended solo on "Canal Street Blues" is perhaps the most expressive soprano sax playing this side of Sidney Bechet. If you're going to own only one Firehouse Five Plus Two recording (though I can't imagine why anyone would stop at just one!), this would be my choice.
This CD contains a great hour plus assortment of Dixieland music played by a very talented group of musicians. The sound quality is right up there with some of the best CDs produced. This CD will be difficult to match, let alone beat for Dixieland enthusiasts. A solid five stars ... closer to six.
What an amazing collection of recordings. I was afraid that the digitization of this old(er) music might mute the sound or make it sound strange. What a delightful surprise I got. I kept turning up the voume higher and higher, and the horns and whistles and sirens got crisper and crisper. I could NOT stop tapping my toes. My smile broadened with each song, even the blues numbers. I purchased this album as an effort to remember the music my Dad listened to when I was a kid. I was thinking that this music was best heard as a remembrance of him. How wrong I was. These Dixieland tunes cannot help but make anyone happy, and I intend to take this CD into the office to spread the joy. The only picky negative criticism I have (and some will find it a positive) is that the last two tunes were recorded from a live performance, with people talking during the intros and exits to the songs. I would have prefered the "pure" recordings. Again, some will like the concocted party...
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