This afternoon, I was doing research for a post on the eccentric and wholly rewarding trumpeter and bandleader P.T. Stanton and I stumbled across this, hidden in plain sight on YouTube: two sessions from June 1956 and March 1957, featuring New Orleans clarinetist George Lewis playing with banjoist Dick Oxtot’s Traditional Jazz Quartet — whose other members were Stanton, string bassist Leilas Sharpton, and the still ongoing singer Barbara Dane.

Stanton is more restrained on these tracks — a potent shining lead and melodic improvisations — but his individualities come through.  This seems to be the only recording for bassist Sharpton.  Is anything more known about this good player, whose name I might have misspelled?

Let this music guide you out of 2017 and into 2018 in the most hopeful uplifting ways.


THE GLORY OF LOVE, as Barbara explicates it gloriously for us:

and the other side of GLORY, the MECCA FLAT BLUES:

Barbara returns to offer what some might feel on Monday, January 1, 2018:

Always a good question, SHOULD I?:

In the name of holy relics and relevant paper ephemera, here is one UK issue of two of the performances:

Appropriate for the occasion, TILL WE MEET AGAIN:

Other titles were recorded at the first session, but these five performances are the only ones issued, as far as I know.  Another glimpse into the jazz treasure chest, full of surprises always.  Wishing you only the best surprises for 2018 and onwards.

May your happiness increase!


  1. Dan Morgenstern

    This is some of the best, maybe even the best George Lewis I’ve heard (and that’s quite a lot). It’s the two standards he excels on—like Bunk he preferred such to the traditional straitjacket the self appointed keepers of the sacred trad insisted on. He sounds so happy on Smiles, and so in tune since not brought down by aging company. Thanks for this and you should get this to Woody Allen if he doesn’t know it. World’s number one George Lewis fan!


  2. Nice feel…enjoyed…keep on keepin

  3. Dennis Tuffin

    When I try to play these YouTube clips it tells me “Video is not available”. Is this because I’m in the UK?

  4. Yes, YouTube has interesting definitions of copyright which all translate as restrictions. I wish I could do something about it but I can’t. The music has been reissued under Lewis’ name on Danish Storyville, I believe.

  5. Don"Zoot" Conner

    Thanks Michael for featuring these rare sides:your guidance will be needed in 2018 in this turbulent world we live in.

  6. Very sweet of you to even think of giving me so much credit: all I can do is to try to spread joy through music. Happy 2018 to you and yours!

  7. Dan Morgenstern

    Friends, I’ve just learned that Ellington Soc. will charge non-members $20 for tomorrow! Wish they’d told me, but be forewarned and I’ll certainly not expect you’d shell out twenty bucks for little old me! Apologies, Dan

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