As an arranger and bandleader, the works of Manny Albam seem better appreciated by jazz musicians than by record labels and the jazz-buying public. This RCA Victor LP collects three separate octets recorded over the span of a few days in December 1955, divided evenly between Albam's swinging originals and imaginative charts of standards ("Anything Goes") and oldies like "Black Bottom" and "Charmaine." The band is anchored by bassist Milt Hinton and drummer Osie Johnson, with a rotating cast of soloists who include Bob Brookmeyer, Urbie Green, Hank Jones, Al Cohn, Hal McKusick, and Joe Newman, among others. At least French RCA Victor made this valuable date available on LP for a time during the 1970s, but it has long since lapsed from print, and will be tough to locate, like far too many records by Manny Albam.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden