The Condon Gang: The Chicago & New York Jazz Scene

A tribute to the great bandleader Eddie Condon and the Chicago-New York jazz scene in which he was a prime mover. This album features Hal Smith's Rhythmakers and Evan Christopher's Chosen Eight, two groups of remarkably talented players. If you're looking for slavish imitation, look for a different album; this tribute captures the feel and spirit of the Condon gang, while making something distinctly new and beautiful.

This album is a great way to explore a seminal style of jazz. Performed by: Hal Smith's Rhythmakers: Chris Tyle, trumpet; Bobby Gordon, clarinet; Clint Baker, trombone; Anita Thomas, tenor sax; Ray Skjelbred, piano; Marty Eggers, bass; Katie Cavera, guitar; Hal Smith, drums. Evan Christopher's Chosen Eight: Evan Christopher, clarinet; Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet; Mike Pittsley, trombone; Brian Ogilvie, tenor sax; Jeff Barnhart, piano; Bill Huntington, guitar; Jim Singleton, bass; Hal Smith, drums.


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Monday Date The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else Strut Miss Lizzie Georgia Grind Skeleton Jangle A Kiss to Build a Dream On I Must Have That Man Jazz Me Blues Rosetta Deed I Do The Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me Sugar The Darktown Strutter's Ball Royal Garden Blues Poor Butterfly That's A Plenty

Additional Info

Additional Info

Format: Jazz Record
Soloist/Artist No
Instruments Music and Musicians
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Accompanist/ Conductor No


Customer Reviews (2)

"Swingin' City Heat!"Review by Big Toots
CJ 22 The Condon Gang

Banjoist and guitarist, Albert Edwin Condon, better known as “Eddie,” played an important role in the development and expansion of American jazz in the 20th Century. From his early playing days in Chicago to his subsequent performing and recording activities (and later club-owning) in New York, Condon, like a jazz “Zelig,” seemed to be always where the hot jazz action was. If it wasn’t Armstrong, it was Waller or Pee Wee or Hackett – that’s where Eddie was.

“The Condon Gang – the Chicago & New York Jazz Scene” is a splendid send-up of 16 classic Hot Jazz selections performed by two different, but equally as terrific, ensembles: drummer Hal Smith’s Rhythmakers and clarinet kid, Evan Christopher’s “Chosen Eight.” Whether it’s the Apple sauce or the Windy City swinging, this entire collection is a joy and an appropriate salute to a timeless musical style.

The ensembles’ structures are the same each with superb frontliners who are positively drenched with post-Dixie (but still in their drinking water) steam. Smith’s crew works up their portion with lesser-known swing bait reminiscent of the Chicago type (by way of the Crescent City) styling (“Monday Date,” “Strut Miss Lizzie,” “I Must Have That Man”). Trumpeter Chris Tyle and clarinetist Bobby Gordon and bone doctor Clint Baker cover the Cajun heat in high style as their rhythm buddies in back work up plenty of perspiration. Christopher’s Eastern stagecoach is a pure runaway with a more “branded” rep (“Royal Garden Blues,” ‘Deed I Do,” The Darktown Strutter’s Ball”). Trumpet ace Jon-Erik Kellso is a tad more forceful than his “Windy City” counterpart and reeks of “Wild” Bill Davidson. The entire group (which actually was recorded a year before Smith’s – and, in ‘Nawlins to boot) is flammable and wails as the fire burns.

Comparisons notwithstanding, “The Condon Gang” is that special kind of timeless, uplifting jazz recording that leaves you feeling great and also confident knowing that listening to it will leave you levitated and prancing on air between the two – OK Pops, three - big cities.

(Posted on 6/19/2015)
The Condon Gang: The Chicago & New York Jazz SceneReview by Simon Sez
Although Eddie Condon was not around for these two sessions, he would have felt quite at home here. The Chicago & New York Jazz Scene is split between two different groups filled with today’s top Dixieland and classic jazz players, and the music is very inspired and often explosive.
Hal Smith’s Rhythmakers with trumpeter Chris Tyle, trombonist Clint Baker, clarinetist Bobby Gordon and pianist Ray Skjelbred would be a difficult group to beat in a battle of the bands. However clarinetist Evan Christopher’s Chosen Eight, which includes trumpeter Jon-Erik Kellso and pianist Jeff Barnhart, could battle them to a tie. Such songs as “Jazz Me Blues,” “Rosetta” and “That’s A Plenty” sound brand new when played by musicians of this level. Forget what you might have heard about Dixieland being played by old men with suspenders and straw hats, sounding double their age and barely being able to play their instruments. This is hot stuff played by younger players with a lot of energy, fresh ideas and enthusiasm. This is also impossible music not to love.

Simon Sez: Do you want to hear hot Dixieland played by some of the best around today? Then get The Chicago & New York Jazz Scene (CJ22)!
(Posted on 5/6/2014)

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