Release Year: 2014
Label: GHB Records
- Way Down Younder In New Orleans
- Bugle Boy March
- I’d Give A Dollar For A Dime
- In The Shade Of The Old Apple Tree
- Bye Bye Blues
- St. James Infirmary Blues
- Mississippi Mud
- Love Nest
- Just A Gigolo
- Smokey Mokes
- Amazing Grace
- Rose Of Washington Square
- Sobbin’ Blues
- Alligator Crawl
- Meat On The Table
- Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans
- Duke Heitger – Leader, Trumpet, Vocals
- Steve Pistorius – Piano, Vocals
- David Boeddinghaus – Piano
- Hal Smith – Drums
- Tom Saunders – Tuba, Bass Saxophone, String Bass
- Tom Fischer – Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Reviewed In OffBeat
Thomas Jacobsen (February 2015 Issue)
Hot trumpeter Duke Heitger came from Toledo, Ohio and settled in New Orleans in 1991 immediately upon graduation from college and became an overnight sensation as a disciple and interpreter of the music of Louis Armstrong.
Since that time, Duke has traveled the globe in the course of achieving an international reputation as a jazz horn player. He still spends a good deal of time on the road but, when in New Orleans, he leads the popular Steamboat Stompers on the riverboat Natchez.
This is the latest in a series of recordings of that fine band. His talented collaborators on this disc—pianists David Boeddinghaus and Steve Pistorius, reedman Tom Fischer, and multi-bassist Tom Saunders—are oft-heard members of that group. Only ace drummer Hal Smith no longer lives in the Crescent City.
The music here represents a tasteful and refreshing stylistic variety, from two-beat trad to four-beat small-group swing. The bulk of it has long been associated with New Orleans and goes back (with the obvious exception of “Do You Know What it Means…”) to the early decades of the last century.
Most are familiar, but there are a few outliers like “I’d Give a Dollar for a Dime,” the old Eubie Blake number done so well with a laid-back Pistorius vocal. Other tunes bring to mind other bands: “Love Nest” clearly evokes the memory of Bix; “Smokey Mokes” makes me think of the West Coast revivalist bands; “Rose of Washington Square,” Condon or the Bobcats. And so on.
But the overarching theme is New Orleans, with the opening (“Way Down Yonder…”) and closing (“Do You Know What it Means…”) tracks paying tribute to Duke’s adopted home. And it is he who stands out above the rest for his excellent trumpet playing (Louis looms large over the session) and fine vocals. He’s become quite a crooner.
This is first-rate New Orleans jazz played by gifted musicians who know how to play it well.
I recommend it warmly.