Avery "Kid" Howard
and His New Orleans Jazz Band play
Great Spirituals
at Zion Hill Church
(Nobility 706)

On the afternoon of 14th of August, 1964, – a hot, steamy afternoon following a torrential downpour – music poured from the windows of the unimposing Zion Hill Church located at 922 Treme Street, a few blocks outside the Vieux Carre, or French Quarter, in a section of New Orleans called “Back O’ Town”.  It was a strong music – gentle music – it was music of comfort for a troubled people.

This is where Avery “Kid” Howard regularly attended services, and when he was asked by the Nobility Recording Company to select a church for the recording session, he turned to his pastor and his church as naturally as he would have turned the key to the lock of his own house. Someone said something about jazz bands in a church, and the Rev. Alexander Griffin smiled, “God gave those fine musicians their talent.  Why shouldn’t they display it in God’s House?”

That set the mood for the session.

This is a collection of well-known spirituals and hymns, familiar to countless generations of Orleanians, but somewhat more than that is the fact that this places the New Orleans Jazzman in true perspective. For too many people, the term “jazz man” represents a shoddy, seamy character, in conflict with himself and society. In New Orleans, this is not the picture, for the men who made this music are family men, leaders in their community, active in church and fraternal endeavors. Jazz is not something they play for a living. It is something they love that is a great part of their lives, and you can hear it in their music.

Kid Howard’s trumpet was never more mellow; Louis Cottrell plays the sweetest clarinet in the cleanest Creole fashion – both balanced by the golden bell-tone of Big Jim Robinson’s trombone. “Creole George” Guesnon on banjo, Dave Williams on piano, Gerald Adams on bass fiddle, and Chester Jones on drums bring out the solid foundation rhythms.

For a little while we forgot the heat and the rain – for a little while we were all “Over in Gloryland.” In God’s House it was good sound.
The Music
1.  Welcome Address, Rev.
       Alexander Griffin (Click to Listen)
2.  Old Time Religion
3.  In the Sweet Bye
       and Bye
4.  Old Rugged Cross
5.  He’ll Understand and
       Say Well Done
6.  Over in the Gloryland
7.  Just a Closer Walk
       With Thee
8.  Lily of the Valley
9.  Just a Little While to
       Stay Here (Click to Listen)
Price: $17.99
©2009 Nobility Studios, Inc.