The height of tenor saxophonist Charlie Ventura's Bop for the People band is covered in this CD. In April 1949 his band consisted of trumpeter Conte Candoli, trombonist Benny Green, Boots Mussulli on alto and baritone, a rhythm section, and vocals from Jackie Cain and pianist Roy Kral. In addition to two songs from a studio session (including the rather eccentric "Barney Google"), there are eight numbers from the group's notable Pasadena concert of May 9, 1949. The additional titles later released by GNP/Crescendo are not included. This CD concludes with sessions from August and September, after Cain and Kral had departed (and gotten married). Teddy Kaye and (a little later) Dave McKenna are on piano, with vocals taken by Betty Bennett, Beverly Brooks, Jimmy Vanelli, and bandmembers. The boppish music is at times almost a self-parody (particularly the nuttier vocals), but the solos are of high quality, particularly those of Candoli.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow