This recording is, at the very least, a major footnote in the history of traditional New Orleans jazz. It marks that great and beautiful moment in a musician’s life – the transition from sideman to leader. If you are a baseball fan, 1964 will be memorable because it is the year that the great Yogi Berra became the manager of the Yankees. If you are a traditional jazz fan, 1964 is equally notable for on February 14, 1964, Waldren “Frog” Joseph and his friends cut this recording with “Frog” leading his associates through a session that brought forth not only a collector’s item, but a truly classic traditional presentation of the New Orleans idiom.
Obviously, this is a recording to accent the brilliant trombone talent of Waldren Joseph. You can’t see the amazing reach of those arms or the right cheek inflating to tennis ball size, but you can hear his very special brand of magic in every number. Included are a few rare gems like Slide, Frog, Slide and Lassus Trombone. You will also find a brand new item, Dixieland Hall Blues composed for this session by the great trumpeter-composer, Joshua Willis, who switches from trumpet to mellophone in this terrifically fine first performance.
A generation or two from now someone will listen to this album and say, “Yeah, this is how it was.”