The third installment in the Classics Bobby Hackett chronology examines the recordings he made between June 22, 1948, and November 7, 1954. The compilation opens with two superb five-minute V-Disc jams introduced by Hackett and Eddie Condon, who organized this and dozens of other traditional jazz get-togethers during the 1940s. The front line of Hackett, Cutty Cutshall, Peanuts Hucko, and Ernie Caceres worked wonders. "You Do Something to Me" is a marvelous trumpet/piano duet with Joe Bushkin recorded during the second AFM recording ban; in their spoken introduction they even mention the organization's president, a Mr. Petrillo. Two quintet sessions for Columbia dating from the late summer and early autumn of 1950 combine Dixieland repertoire with relaxed swing standards; Hackett's rendering of "A Room with a View" is particularly beautiful. An unattributed vocal choir intrudes upon an unissued recording of "Sleepy Head"; this turns out to have been a premonition of production values yet to come, as Hackett's next date as a leader (Capitol Records, May 11,1953) would find him accompanied by a rhythm section augmented with four violas and a cello. This combination actually worked rather well; the fact that Hackett had Lou Stein, Billy Bauer, Arnold Fishkin, and Denzil Best in the group helped to temper the effect of the strings, which in any case were all low key, literally speaking. Hackett sounds as relaxed and sophisticated as ever on the concluding tracks, which were recorded on November 7, 1954. By this time the Capitol studios and conductor Glenn Osser were backing him with French horns, woodwinds (including flute and oboe), and a classical harp wafting away next to the rhythm section. Fortunately, the ensemble is kept under control and Hackett sounds just as happy here as he did with his old cohorts from the Condon Mob.
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