Urbie Green

Jimmy McHugh in Hi-Fi

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Trombonist Urbie Green leads his orchestra through 28 numbers written by Jimmy McHugh in collaboration with several different lyricists; many of the songs on this LP were already two decades old by the time of these 1958 studio sessions and were still frequently played in the early 21st century. The arrangements, contributed by Al Cohn or Irwin Kostal, are swinging if somewhat predictable, focusing on section work and occasional solos by the leader, with only a handful of solos by the unidentified "New York's finest sidemen." Unfortunately, much of the album's space is devoted to two overly long medleys cramming in too many songs, instead of giving each composition its due. As a result, the disc is not quite as rewarding as it could have been, though there are obscure, stand-alone songs like "Louella" (written in honor of gossip columnist Louella Parsons, who wrote the liner notes) and "Rock-a-Bye Bluebird" that are worth investigating if this long-unavailable LP is located at a reasonable price.