Thomas Talbert

This Is Living!

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Arranger Tom Talbert ventured to New York for this superior big band date. He utilized four of the musicians who had been on his classic Bix Fats Duke album of 1956 (trumpeter Joe Wilder, trombonist Eddie Bert, clarinetist Aaron Sachs, and the baritone, bass clarinet, and clarinet of Danny Bank), and there are some similarities in style to the earlier set. Talbert utilized ten brass (including two French horns), four woodwinds, and a pianoless rhythm section for four of his originals and such standards as "Django," "Blame It on My Youth," Willie "the Lion" Smith's "Echo of Spring," and "Our Delight." Many of the musicians get space for concise solos (including altoist Dick Oatts, tenorman Loren Schoenberg, and guitarist Howard Alden), but Joe Wilder's lyrical playing consistently steals the show, along with Talbert's colorful arrangements. A gem.

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