Manny Albam

Brass on Fire

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Manny Albam focuses on brass while omitting reeds and piano entirely from this mid-'60s big-band LP. Albam's arrangements of the dozen standards are still fresh decades later, whether alternating between the trumpet and trombone sections, or showcasing individual soloists. "Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe" centers around the separate solos of Jim Maxwell and John Frosk on open horns, with Thad Jones and Danny Stiles utilizing mutes. Joe Newman is featured in "My Heart Stood Still," "My Old Flame," and a waltz-time treatment of "I Get a Kick Out of You," while Ernie Royal is in the spotlight during "After You've Gone." Bassist Richard Davis comes to the forefront in a loping chart of "Just One of Those Things." This long unavailable Solid State LP will be difficult to acquire.