JAM SESSION was compiled from a 1952 jam session which brought together three of history's greatest alto saxophonists; Parker, Johnny Hodges and Benny Carter, as well as Ben Webster and Flip Phillips on tenor sax. Orchestrated by Norman Granz to come as close to an authentic jam session as possible, this is the first of the Jazz at the Philharmonic series. The album includes an original blues tune ("Jam Blues"), a medley of ballads selected by each musician, and a mellow blues tune called "Funky Blues."
The standard "What is This Thing Called Love," stands out particularly for its follow-the-leader style ending, with each musician trading fours. Interestingly, the meeting of these three greats, with their widely varying styles, results not in spectacular and fiercely competitive playing, but rather in a slight muting and sense of reserve from all three.