Jordan Sandke & Jaki Byard and Co.
Crossing generational and stylistic lines with gleeful disregard, this album is an engaging bit of chamber jazz. It’s by a quintet whose leaders are Sandke, 40, a trumpeter-cornetist who hasn’t forgotten there were such people as Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke, and the veteran pianist Byard, 64. The group wanders happily from New Orleans style to swing to bop. Saxophonist Tad Shull, 30, drummer Charles Braugham, 43, and bassist Milt Hinton, 76, complete the lineup. There are a few original tunes by Sandke mixed in with such minor classics as Duke Ellington’s Black Beauty, Armstrong’s Cornet Chop Suey and Henry Nemo’s Don’t Take Your Love From Me. The album is also noteworthy for Sandke’s vocal on the title tune; this is the worst singing in recorded history since Walter Brennan did Old Rivers. Sandke doesn’t seem to take his vocalizing too seriously, though, and his horn playing is full of warmth and verve. (Stash)