This LP is a classic, one of the greatest sessions ever by clarinetist George Lewis
. The title is actually quite inaccurate, for "Just a Closer Walk with Thee" is the only funeral song included on the date, and there is nothing somber about any of the joyful music. Trumpeter/vocalist Kid Howard
, who was often very erratic during the era (particularly on radio broadcasts), sounds in top form; the consistent trombonist Jim Robinson
is an asset in the ensembles, as usual; the rhythm section really drives the group, and clarinetist Lewis
often seems to be quite exuberant. Their version of "When the Saints Go Marching In" is definitive, and other highlights include "Ice Cream" and "Panama." This set of prime New Orleans jazz music belongs in every serious jazz collection.