Sharkey Bonano: Royal Garden Blues


Royal Garden Blues


Sharkey Bonano (trumpet)


Sounds Of New Orleans Vol. 4: Sharkey Bonano Live at the Perez Club (Storyville)

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Sharkey Bonano (trumpet),

Jack Delaney (trombone), Bujie Centobie (clarinet), Stanley Mendelson (piano), Arnold Loyacano (bass), Abbie Brunies (drums)


Composed by Spencer & Clarence Williams


Recorded: Live at the Perez Club, New Orleans, December 7, 1952


Rating: 91/100 (learn more)

The celebrated maestro Arturo Toscanini, according to legend, once invited Sharkey Bonano to a rehearsal of the New York Philharmonic, asked him to play for the orchestra, and afterwards berated his trumpeters because they couldn't get as big and beautiful sound from their horns as the lowly jazz musician. I'm not sure if this ever happened, but Bonano certainly had a full-bodied tone, perfectly suited for New Orleans lead playing, which requires the trumpeter to cut through the layers of counterpoint, both working the melody line and swinging the band at the same time. Fans sometimes dismissed his musicianship because of his on-stage antics and skills as an entertainer. On this live recording, he is clapping and exhorting and setting the festive tone from the bandstand. But he works over "Royal Garden Blues" but good, and clarinetist Bujie Centobie gets in some hot licks too. Good enough for Toscanini; good enough for me.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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