Various Artists

The First Three Concerts

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This CD (a readily available German import) has "new" music recorded at the same sessions that resulted in three previous Nagel-Heyer sets. From "The Wonderful World of George Gershwin" are four numbers that feature trumpeter Randy Sandke, trombonist George Masso, clarinetist Kenny Davern, underrated tenor Danny Moss, pianist Eddie Higgins, bassist Len Skeat and drummer Jake Hanna (including a heated "Fascinating Rhythm" and "Who Cares"). From "The Bix Beiderbecke Era," one hears guitarist Marty Grosz singing "Mississippi Mud" in German (!); pianist Johnny Varro is featured in a medley of "In a Mist" and "Candlelight," and a full-band rendition of "There Ain't No Sweet Man" (with Sandke, trombonist Dan Barrett and clarinetist Ken Peplowski) has plenty of spirit. However, the bulk of the CD is taken up by "A Salute to Eddie Condon," a particularly exciting octet set with cornetist Ed Polcer, trombonist Bob Havens and clarinetist Allan Vache; their versions of "I Would Do Most Anything for You," a joyous "Louisiana" and "Mandy Make Up Your Mind" are the high points of the enjoyable and well-rounded release.