Two full LPs of Harry "Sweets" Edison and Charlie Shavers, Session at Midnight and Session at Riverside are reissued in full on this single CD, here titled Complete at Midnight/At Riverside Sessions. Both of the sets are in the tradition of the Buck Clayton Jam Sessions with fairly basic chord changes, riffing behind soloists, and the lineups being populated by colorful swing veterans. The main difference from the Clayton jams is that the performances are briefer, clocking in mostly between five and six minutes. However there is ample solo space for all of the key players, sometimes including as many as eight horn players and the pianist on a single track. A bit unusual is that "Blue Lou" features trumpet solos and trade-offs by Harry "Sweets" Edison, Shorty Sherock and Benny Carter (switching from alto), along with alto trade-offs between Carter, Murray McEachern (who doubles on valve trombone) and Willie Smith. In general, all of the musicians play at least as well as one would expect, and one gets a rare opportunity to hear trumpeter Shorty Sherock, clarinetist Gus Bivona and tenor saxophonist Babe Russin in this type of mid-'50s all-star group. The results are fun, often infectious, and filled with spirited playing.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow