Bill Potts / Gene Quill / Phil Woods

Bye Bye Birdie

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The light musical comedy Bye Bye Birdie, with the young actress Ann-Margaret starring as the teenager designated to kiss the fictional rock star Conrad Birdie on The Ed Sullivan Show hardly seems like a vehicle that would have stimulated a jazz treatment of its music. But the creative arrangements by Bill Potts and a superb cast that includes some of the best jazz musicians active during the early '60s make it work. Clark Terry's matchless fl├╝gelhorn and Gene Quill's alto sax are the centerpieces of the brisk opener, "Bye Bye Birdie." Phil Woods, known for his definitive style of playing alto sax, also doubles on clarinet and makes his impressive debut as a tenor saxophonist on several tracks, particularly with his full-bodied solo in "How Lovely to Be a Woman." "Kids" is an amusing parody of the Charleston, while "The Closer" is a thoughtful medley of several pieces from the film's score. Issued by Colpix, this 1963 LP will be rather difficult to acquire.

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