Urbie Green

Urbie Green & His 6-Tet

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Urbie Green is probably more familiar to the average jazz fan as a sideman than as a leader, though he has numerous albums to his credit. This obscure gem made for Command in 1963 is a gem long overdue to be reissued on CD. Accompanied by alto saxophonist Walt Levinsky and trumpeter Doc Severinsen (both of whom worked in Gerry Mulligan's Concert Jazz Band), guitarist Barry Galbraith, bassist Milt Hinton, and drummer Don Lamond, Green, along with fellow arrangers Jimmy Giuffre and Ralph Burns, put together a first-rate session. Burns' upbeat arrangement of John Lewis' "Django" is a terrific showcase for both Levinsky and the leader. Giuffre arranged "Four Brothers," which substitutes a drum break in place of Woody Herman's clarinet solo. Green's treatment of the Dixieland favorite "Royal Garden Blues" also packs a punch with its inventive approach, which incorporates numerous solo breaks and surprising twists. Highly recommended.

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