Howard McGhee

Howard McGhee & Milt Jackson

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On this appealing set of bluesy, bop originals and ballad standards the spotlight is on trumpeter McGhee -- a contemporary of Dizzy Gillespie and Fats Navarro -- more so than vibist Jackson. The release combines two February 1948 sessions. The sound is good, despite occasional dropouts. Both bassists are well served in the mix -- the drummers less well. McGhee is comfortable at speed on the up-tempo numbers, including McGhee originals "Flip Lip" and "The Last Word," and a master ballad stylist on "Talk of the Town," "Sweet and Lovely," "I'm in the Mood for Love," and "The Man I Love." Jackson, on form throughout the eight tracks on which he performs, contributes succinct, choicely phrased solo statements. In short, this is an unpretentious slice of bebop heaven, particularly attractive to listeners interested in the trumpeter.

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