Oscar Pettiford

Oscar Pettiford and his Birdland Band

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Throughout his all-too-short career, bassist Oscar Pettiford had a desire to lead a big band. For 18 months during 1956-57, he kept one going on a part-time basis, resulting in a pair of albums. This LP from the British Spotlite label contains music from a couple of radio broadcasts with Pettiford (who doubles on cello), featuring such fine players as trumpeter Donald Byrd, trombonist Al Grey, altoist Gene Quill and Jerome Richardson on tenor with a band that included Betty Glamann on harp and two French horns. Mostly group originals arranged by Gryce, the music is excellent and swinging, making one regret that the Pettiford Orchestra could not make it financially.