was 90 at the time that he recorded this live set with the Swiss Dixie Stompers
, but he could still hit high notes on his trumpet and take charming vocals. Although initially a bit nervous about sitting in with a band he had never heard of (as he relates during a short interview), the combination works well and the bandmembers (taking the first two songs without their guest) were clearly quite inspired to be playing with the ancient legend. The problem with this release is that the balance is off (Cheatham
's vocals often sound off-mike), the ensembles are overcrowded (with the two reeds filling in all the space), and Cheatham
shows his age a bit, occasionally missing notes. Since he was 90, it is understandable, though he tends to be stronger on his last studio sessions. There is certainly plenty of spirit to be heard throughout the concert and trumpeter Andre Racine
apparently played above his head a bit, but one wishes that Cheatham
(who is only really showcased on "Sweet Lorraine") were featured more extensively. So this is a good if not great release, one that trad jazz collectors will enjoy anyway.