The great New Orleans Revival, which influenced the development of traditional jazz through the 1940s in the U.S. and abroad, was launched by trumpeter Lu Watters and his young Yerba Buena Jazz Band, which at various times included Bob Scobey, Turk Murphy, Bob Helm, Clancy Hayes, and Wally Rose. Half a century later, their music continues to enjoy considerable popularity, and is prized and sought after by collectors, researched and analyzed by jazz historians.
This is not the first box of Lu Watters material released by Good Time Jazz: in 1954, the label issued a three-LP set of the band's May and June 1946 Dawn Club recordings "reprocessed with latest 1954 audio techniques." The 96 selections in this new 4-CD boxed set represent everything recorded by the Lu Watters band for the Jazz Man and West Coast labels (which were acquired by Good Time Jazz), plus rare broadcast recordings previously released by Riverside and Fairmont, all treated to 1993 digital technology.
As a special bonus, the box contains six selections by Benny Strickler with the wartime Yerba Buena Jazz Band (four of which had been previously issued as a Good Time Jazz EP). Also included are several previously unissued tracks by the Watters band.
The extensively annotated booklet features notes by Philip Elwood; a reminiscence by John Koenig about his father Lester Koenig, Good Time Jazz founder; original session notes by Turk Murphy, Lester Koenig, Robert L. Thompson, Dave Caughren, and Nesuhi Ertegun (whose May 1946 Clef Magazine piece on the Watters band is reproduced); an appreciation of Lu by his friends and #1 fans, Dottie and Ed Lawless; and a fascinating collection of photos, letters, and other ephemera.