Papa Mutt Carey: Ostrich Walk


Ostrich Walk


Papa Mutt Carey (trumpet)


Portrait Of A New Orleans Master (Upbeat URCD 176)

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Papa Mutt Carey (trumpet), Danny Barker (guitar), Baby Dodds (drums), Albert Nicholas (clarinet),

James Archey (trombone), Hank Duncan (piano)


Recorded: New York, November 18, 1947


Rating: 91/100 (learn more)

With two Papas (Papa Mutt Carey and Pops Foster) and a Baby (Dodds) on hand—each of them a New Orleans pioneer of the music—you will either get plenty of family feeling or a nasty paternity suit. Fortunately no DNA testing is required here. Carey runs the band with a light touch, and gives ample solo space and plenty of breaks to his colleagues. Clarinetist Albert Nicholas is especially impressive, both for his lovely tone and his coherent improvisation. Carey thrives on the New Orleans counterpoint, although you can also hear the influence of the Swing Era aesthetic on this track. But make no mistake: unlike other trad jazz wannabes of the era, these fellows were there at the start. Carey was working with Kid Ory long before the first jazz recordings were made, and was a participant at the first session to feature African-Americans playing jazz music. But you don't need a history book in hand to enjoy this track. And, youngsters, you could learn a thing or two about phrasing if you supplemented your daily dose of Coltrane with at least a taste of this sweet ol' music.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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