Celebrating Bix!

The Bix Centennial All-Stars

Turtle Bay Records, 2023


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


On this reissue we're treated to several unearthed tunes that didn't quite fit on the original 2003 release of Celebrating Bix!, where the memory of the legendary ’20s jazz legend Bix Beiderbecke is preserved with much care and energy.

The 22-track listen opens with Randy Reinhart’s vibrant cornet and Joe Ascione’s skilled drumming steering the frisky climate, and “Proud (Of A Baby Like You)” continues that mood with Jack Stuckey’s focused alto sax and Mark Shane’s finger acrobatics on piano. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Entering Side B, “Blue River” places Howard Alden’s warm guitar and Vince Giordano’s proficient bass front and center for the gentle delivery, though it’s Dick Hyman’s exceptional piano playing that steals the show for this portion thanks to the rich “Clementine (From New Orleans).”

The second half of the fun welcomes Dan Levinson’s saxophone and Dan Barrett’s trombone on the aptly titled “Trumbology,” and later, the previously unreleased “China Boy” is populated by Reinhart and Randy Sandke’s cornet solos that illuminates the party anthem.

The last few tracks don’t disappoint either, as “Just An Hour Of Love,” another resurrected track, is sure to get you on the dance floor thanks to Barbara Rosene’s pretty pipes and the body-shaking rhythm. Close to the end, The Manhattan Rhythm Kings are present on vocals for the retro nods of “San,” and “Deep Down South” exits with James Langton’s excellent vocal performance that puts a firm exclamation point on this nostalgic jazz reissue.

A listen that’s not short on three-part harmonies via the cornets, the well-timed winds and, of course, dynamic and timeless brass interaction, this 20th Anniversary Edition is a great way to pay tribute to Beiderbecke's vision, as well as the many contributors to the project who are no longer around.

Rating: B+

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