Los Angeles Jazz Scene Review by Scott Yanow
"One of the most distinctive clarinetists of all time, Edmond Hall had an intense sound that would have no difficulty being heard above a brass section. After gaining experience playing in New Orleans in the 1920s (including with the unrecorded cornetist Buddy Petit) and with swing bands in the '30s, most notably that of Claude Hopkins, Hall spent the rest of his career with small groups, including the Louis Armstrong All-Stars for a few years in the 1950s. Petite Fleur was one of Edmond Hall's very few full-length albums as a leader and was formerly among his rarest. Recorded Dec. 1958, it features Hall on four numbers with a quartet and on four other performances (including a six-song Duke Ellington medley) with a sextet that includes trumpeter Emmett Berry and trombonist Vic Dickenson. It is a pleasure to hear Hall in the spotlight and he really excels, particularly on Sidney Bechet's "Petite Fleur," "Clarinet Marmalade" and a few of his obscure originals. A special treat is the unusual "Don't Give Me Sympathy" which has a good-humored Hall vocal. The Mighty Quinn label during the past year has been making available a series of long-out-of-print jazz sets from the 1950s and '60s. Its catalog (www.mightyquinn.net) is well worth exploring."