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Jazz Greats Of Our Time

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Album Review

Manny Albam's decision to quit playing and stick exclusively to arranging, composing, and leading large ensembles produced many fine records during the 1950s and 1960s, though most of them, such as this Coral LP, have unjustly languished out of print for decades. Albam leads a truly all-star tentet with Gerry Mulligan, Phil Woods, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, Bob Brookmeyer, Nick Travis, and Art Farmer, along with a rhythm section consisting of Hank Jones, Milt Hinton, and Osie Johnson. Most of these 1957 sessions are devoted to Albam's cool but swinging original works, each of which features great solos and superb interplay among the musicians. One oddity is the inclusion of the 1920s-era "My Sweetie Went Away," which somewhat resembles Mulligan's composition "Jeru," though the playing is first-rate. Cohn trades his usual tenor sax for baritone to join Mulligan in Albam's humorous "Poor Dr. Millmous" (whose title was inspired by a James Thurber cartoon). [A Lone Hill Jazz compilation rescued this and its follow-up on a 2-CD set.] ~ Ken Dryden


Born: 24 June 1922 in Samana, Dominican Republic

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

During a career that spanned seven decades, composer and arranger Manny Albam collaborated with a who's who of jazz greats including Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, and Stan Getz. He also developed successive generations of new talent as co-founder and musical director of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop. Albam was born June 24, 1922. His parents were en route from their native Russia to their new home in New York City, and his mother went into labor while their ship was outside of the Dominican Republic...
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Jazz Greats Of Our Time, Manny Albam
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