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Album Review

A group of West Coast-based players (other than trombonist John Allred) gathered together under drummer Jake Hanna's leadership to jam a variety of standards. Not much planning went into this date and few real fireworks occur. The musicians (trumpeter Jack Sheldon who is easily the top soloist, Allred, tenor-saxophonist Tommy Newsom, pianist Ross Tompkins, bassist David Stone and Hanna) are all quite familiar with each other and they sound fine together. However the ensembles are generally too laidback (Allred and Newsom never challenge Sheldon) and the solos are fairly predictable, with Hanna mostly content to stay in the background. Sheldon takes vocals on four of the selections in cheerful fashion. Highlights include "Exactly Like You," Al Cohn's "P Town" (based on "You're Driving Me Crazy"), "Look for the Silver Lining" and "Oh, Look at Me Now." Some prior planning and chancetaking could have uplifted this mainstream swing set from being decent to becoming much more inspired.

The Joint Is Jumpin', Jake Hanna And His After Hours Gang
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