The Dukes of Dixieland, at Charlie's Georgetown through Sunday, will not satisfy the purist seeking a replica of the King Oliver sound of the 1920s. They are from New Orleans, as was Oliver, but theirs is the New Orleans of latter-day Bourbon Street with its round-the-clock Dixieland bands geared to draw in the tourist trade. But if their act last night was a mixed bag of traditional tunes and flag-waving tempos, comedy numbers and moving blues passages, and even if this "ghost" band bears little resemblance to the Assunto Family band also called the Dukes of Dixieland, their show was an entertaining one.
"Royal Garden Blues" began with the front line burning up the sidewalk over Freddie Kohlman's parade snare and shuffle-beat bass drum. Clarinetist Mike Sizer peeled off into a solo with leader Frank Trapani's swing-era trumpet and trombonist Booby Floyd riffing beneath him. Floyd's solos belched out yard-wide Kid Ory vibrato, and pianist Phamous Lambert worked in some tinkling quotes a la Basie.
Trapani's strong lead drove a tightly ensembled "Muskrat Ramble," and Danny Rubio's well-deep tuba was effectively somber on a hearse-slow "Tin Roof Blues." Floyd, Lambert and Kohlman contributed vocals throughout the set.