Al Cohn

Easy as Pie: Live at the Left Bank

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Over nearly three decades, tenor saxophonists Al Cohn and Zoot Sims made many fine recordings together; this posthumous release originates from a private recording made by the Left Bank Jazz Society in 1968 at Baltimore's Famous Ballroom. The two co-leaders inspire one another throughout the concert. Following an opening "Tickle Toe" (which is unfortunately joined in progress), they dive into Cohn's hard swinging "Mr.George." Other highlights include a masterful medley of "These Foolish Things" and "Willow Weep For Me," plus a lush version of Gary McFarland's tribute to alto sax superstar Johnny Hodges in "Blue Hodge" and the lightly swinging "Expense Account." The capable rhythm section includes pianist Dave Frishberg, bassist Victor Sproles, and drummer Donald McDonald. The terrific liner notes by Ira Gitler give the listener an idea what it was like to catch the two saxophonists in person. Although the sound isn't as crisp as typical live jazz CDs, this CD is highly recommended.

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