The World's Greatest Jazz Band

This all-star group was founded in 1968 by Dick Gibson at his sixth annual Jazz Party. Despite the impossibility of living up to its outrageous name, the band was indeed the finest in Dixieland/classic jazz. Co-led by Yank Lawson and Bob Haggart, and also featuring Billy Butterfield, Bud Freeman, Bob Miller, and Ralph Sutton, the WGJB originally alternated standards with Dixiefied versions of current pop tunes like "Mrs. Robinson," but its finest album (Live on Atlantic) sticks to hot jamming. After the personnel changed a bit (Eddie Miller and Dick Wellstood passed through the band), the group broke up in 1978, although reunions by Lawson and Haggart in later years sometimes revived the name. Their recordings for Project 3, Atlantic, and their own World Jazz label are pretty much all worth getting. ~ Scott Yanow

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