Elliot Lawrence

Jazz Goes Broadway

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Although he mostly worked in radio, television, and the studios in the 1950s, pianist/arranger Elliot Lawrence also led a series of fine swing-oriented jazz dates. Most of his sessions were at the head of big bands, but, for this LP (not yet reissued on CD), Lawrence leads a pair of overlapping octets. Such soloists as Art Farmer or Nick Travis on trumpet, Jimmy Cleveland or Urbie Green on trombone, altoist Gene Quill, clarinetist Hal McKusick, tenorman Zoot Sims and Al Cohn (switching to baritone), the groups perform ten songs taken from Broadway shows. Four ("Just in Time," "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face," "On the Street Where You Live," and "Mack the Knife") became standards while the other six sank into obscurity. The jazz all-stars (which also include bassist Chubby Jackson and drummer Don Lamond) uplift all of the tunes, with arrangements provided by Lawrence, Cohn, and Manny Albam.

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