Lambert, Hendricks & Bavan

Havin' a Ball at the Village Gate

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This is the third and last album from Lambert, Hendricks and Bavan's brief run, and like its predecessors, it's a live gig. By now, though, the trio's resilience and fire seem to have worn just a bit thin, and the intonation of the ensembles sometimes goes astray. The ever-ebullient Jon Hendricks is in the freshest voice, particularly in his call-and-response solos on the Jimmy Rushing specialty "Rusty Dusty Blues." Yolande Bavan's accented voice is a bit of a hindrance on the solos, and while the ensemble blend isn't bad, one has to conclude that she was not as seamless a match for her male partners as was her predecessor, Annie Ross. Hendricks's take on "Three Blind Mice" (the mice were drunk) is kind of funny, and Dave Lambert has a droll, somewhat updated go at the English music hall ditty, "With 'Er 'Ead Tucked Underneath 'Er Arm." There are some revisits to the repertoire of LH&R, "Jumpin' at the Woodside," "It's Sand, Man!" - neither of which challenge the originals. However, with some fine bop solos from Thad Jones on cornet and flugelhorn and Booker Ervin on tenor sax threading through the set, and the enthusiastic Hendricks emceeing the show, fans of the group can have a pretty good time with this.

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