Mal Sharpe's Big Money in Jazz Band | Firecracker Baby

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Jazz: Dixieland Jazz: New Orleans Jazz Moods: Type: Live Recordings
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Firecracker Baby

by Mal Sharpe's Big Money in Jazz Band

New Orleans style Dixieland, played on the 4th of July, by San Francisco's top traditional jazz stars to celebrate Louis Armstrong's birthday.
Genre: Jazz: Dixieland
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Intro
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0:28 album only
2. When It's Sleepytime Down South
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1:43 album only
3. Swing That Music
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2:27 album only
4. Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans
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6:32 album only
5. I'll Be Glad When You're Dead You Rascal You
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3:21 album only
6. All of Me
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2:51 album only
7. Intro
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0:45 album only
8. St. James Infirmary
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8:41 album only
9. Spoken: Firecracker Baby
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0:09 album only
10. Georgia Grind
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4:13 album only
11. You're Lucky to Me
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3:15 album only
12. Cornet Cop Suey
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5:22 album only
13. Spoken: Mal's Dream
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0:20 album only
14. Jeepers Creepers
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2:25 album only
15. Joe Louis Stomp
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4:06 album only
16. Someone to Watch Over Me
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7:59 album only
17. The World is Waiting for the Sunrise
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2:28 album only
18. Spoken: Louis' Hamburger Joke
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0:58 album only
19. What a Wonderful World
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5:36 album only
20. Intro
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1:01 album only
21. That's My Desire
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4:46 album only
22. Strutting' with Some Barbecue
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1:02 album only
23. When the Saints Go Marching In
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5:31 album only
24. Happy Birthday
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0:40 album only


Album Notes
Featuring The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol, vocals
Recorded at Yoshi’s Jazz Club, Oakland 2007

PRESS RELEASE for August 2008

Big Money in Jazz plays the opening night of the all new “Downtown Berkeley MusicFest” (This festival is replacing last years “Downtown JazzFest.”)

Place: Anna’s Jazz Island
Date: Thursday, August 21. 8pm

Big Money will play the music of Louis Armstrong---what could be a more fitting way to open any music festival in the USA or the World for that matter.

Big Money’s latest CD is a salute to Louis and many of these tunes will be featured with many of the same musicians. (The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol may make an unscheduled Guest Appearance.)


“I was born in 1900...4th of July...12 o’clock at night and they called me a Firecracker Baby.”
Louis Armstrong talking to an unknown interviewer in a San Francisco hotel room in the mid 1950s. Hear the original audio on Track 9

Louis' voice shows up at surprising moments during this CD! Don’t miss his Hamburger Joke on Track 18.


This band, like The Buena Vista Social Club, is an unusual combination of musicians from various eras of San Francisco jazz. They came together for one historic night to celebrate their respect for Louis Armstrong.

Leon Oakley, trumpet. Leon’s love of Armstrong comes out full force in this concert. Although he doesn’t imitate Louis, he captures his reckless spirit and inventiveness. Leon came to San Francisco in the late 60s and played for 10 years with the legendary Turk Murphy Jazz Band . He’s made many appearances on Public Radio Internationals’ Riverwalk Jazz. Check out Track 3.

THe Dynamic Miss Faye Carol has long been San Francisco's most charismatic vocalist. She’s collaborated with Ray Charles and Charles Brown and, like Satchmo, when she’s onstage she inspires the band to give it their all...the audience too. Track 4 is touching and Track 16 operatic.

Mal Sharpe is the trombonist and leader. Mal is well known for his Man-On-The Street interviews for radio and TV. He started out in the early 1960s doing hidden mic pranks with his then partner, James P. Coyle. Coyle and Sharpe’s recordings are still hits in the underground and can be found elsewhere on CDBABY. In 1979 he began to study the trombone, seriously, with the hope of making big money in jazz. Mal’s freudian dream is on Track 13

Richard Hadlock, Soprano Sax, neglected his studies at the University of Pennsylvania to take music lessons from Sidney Bechet. He came to San Francisco in the mid 50s and became the Jazz reviewer for the SF Examiner. His book, Jazz Masters of the 20s, is still in print. He’s written criticism for Downbeat and The New York Times. He’s been a performer in scores of Bay Area groups and has recorded with the likes of Barbara Dane and Wild Bill Davidson.

Si Perkoff, piano. Si was the house pianist for Bop City, the after hours club that made history in San Francisco in the 1960s. He’s been in groups with Harry “Sweets” Edison” and Art Pepper. In 2008, his trio, Monks Music, was featured at The San Francisco Jazz Festival. Listen to Track 12, Louis’ composition, “Cornet Chop Suey” or as CDBABY has mislabeled it Cornet “Cop” Suey.

Marty Eggers, a bright young man, plays the unique Slap Bass style of Louis’ childhood friend, George “Pops” Foster. Marty often tours with A Prairie Home Companions’ pianist, Butch Thompson. See Track 17

Clint Baker. rhythm guitar , made his first appearance at the Monterey Jazz Festival with his own band when he was a teenager in 1999. Now, in adult form, he's in demand around the world for festivals and recording sessions. His vocal on Eubie Blake’s “You’re Lucky to Me” seems to stir up the young women in the audience. Track 11

Carmen Cansino, drums. Her family of Spanish dancers came to the United States in the 1920s. They toured in vaudeville and settled in San Francisco. Carmen carries the rhythm along with her socks off and her drum set on.


John Coppola, trumpet. John was born in Oakland . When he was 21 he left town to join Charlie Barnet... a year later he was in the trumpet section of the Stan Kenton Band, and In the 50s he had a long stint Woody Herman. His wife, Frances, sang with Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond before they hit the jackpot. On numerous occasions, while on the road, John ended up in theaters playing opposite his idol, Louis Armstrong. They had some illuminating chats. John sets the band off on the right foot, see tracks 7&8

Roger Glenn... Flute, soprano and vocal. Roger played and recorded with Cal Tjader and Dizzy Gillespie. His Dad, the trombonist Tyree Glenn, toured with Louis and The All Stars. When Roger was a teenager it was not unusual for him to come downstairs and find Louis sleeping on his sofa. Aside from great music, Louis and Tyree made some spicey red beans and rice. Tracks 20&21

Cameo appearances by:

Harley White, Bass...toured worldwide with Earl “Fatha” Hines.
Jeff Sanford, alto sax...the leader of Jeff Sanford’s Cartoon Orchestra. Pete Devine, of the Mission Districts' Jug Band scene. Dwayne Ramsey, clarinet...founding member of The King Cotton Band. Wilbur Carlson, drums. Back in the late 50s was a co owner of The Cellar, a historic be bop joint in North Beach that was immortalized in a Jack Kerouac novel. Eric Shifrin, piano...currently knocking ‘em dead at the Fairmont Hotel. Joe McKinley, time member of The Sun Ra Arkestra. Bill DeKuiper, guitar...featured with Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks. David Giampietro, applause at The Monterey Jazz festival. Ari Munkres, Bass... you’ll find him on CDs with The Hot Club of San Francisco.


to write a review


Fine & Fun Sonic Souvenir
Anyone who has seen Mal Sharpe knows he has personality plus, and the players in this band are top notch and true to the spirit of Dixieland. The live feel is cool, and the vocals are often appropriately mixed down to highlight the musicians. The version of St James Infirmary is particularly great...

John Russell

excellent all round performances by the band, lovely soprano sax by Richard Hadlock and nice to hear audio speeches by Louis Armstrong
Well worth buying the album