Serge Chaloff

Boston Blow-Up!

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Baritonist Serge Chaloff, best known as a member of Woody Herman's Second Herd, made a comeback in the mid-'50s after years of drug abuse. Having kicked the habit in his native Boston, he recorded The Fable of Mable in 1954 and this excellent session the following year. Chaloff is heard on a variety of obscure originals plus a couple of standards (including a near-classic "Body and Soul") in a sextet with trumpeter Herb Pomeroy and altoist Boots Mussulli. The ironic part is that, once Chaloff cleaned up his act, he contracted spinal paralysis and died in 1957. However, the baritonist is very much in prime form on this set, which was once only available on CD as part of Mosaic's Serge Chaloff limited-edition box but was reissued by Capitol Jazz in 2006 with three extra tracks.

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