Our salute to a Minnesota jazz legend

Last week one of our customers brought in a classic local jazz album so we could put it on a CD for him (we don’t really advertise it but this is something we do fairly often, by the way). Unfortunately, along with his copy of the Upper Mississippi Jazz Band’s 1972 album, our customer brought in a program from the memorial service for a great Minnesota jazz musician.

upper mississippi jazz band

Clarinetist Dick Ramberg passed away earlier this month at the age of 72. He is best known to fans of traditional jazz for his nearly fifty years of performing and recording with the Barbary Coast Dixieland Show Band, with whom he recorded seventeen albums. Before performing on the Upper Mississippi Jazz Band albums, Ramberg made his recording debut with the Mill City Seven in 1965. He also performed with the Hall Brothers and Doc Evans in those early years. You can read a little more about Ramberg’s career with the Barbary Coast and his longtime pal Dick Petersen in a beautiful obituary from the Star Tribune here).

mill city seven

We’ve played these albums several times in the shop this week – the bands are both awesome, although Ramberg steals the show in more than a few tracks. A song he performed on the Mill City Seven became his signature number, and our customer told us it was played at the memorial service. The Barbary Coast Dixieland Show Band has retired the song.

So here’s “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” from the Mill City Seven’s album. Ramberg formed the group with Petersen, who plays banjo (left handed!). Joining them are Steve Peer, Tom Hanson, Bill Hale, Art Katzman and Ed Trautwein.

02 just a closer walk with thee

“Just a Closer Walk with Thee” by the Mill City Seven

  1. Jeff’s avatar

    Many thanks. This is one of the few songs my 87-year-old father wants played at his funeral, and this is a most appropriate version of it.


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