Panama Francis

Panama Francis and the Savoy Sultans, Vol. 1: Groovin'

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The third of four albums made by Panama Francis' Savoy Sultans is not quite on the level of the first two; it was originally cut for Black and Blue and made available for a time domestically by Classic Jazz. The Sultans once again play some heated swing and feature a nonet full of top veterans, including trumpeters Irv Stokes and Francis Williams and tenor saxophonist George Kelly, but a couple of Julia Steele vocals are unnecessary, and some of the songs ("Bill Bailey," "Theme from New York, New York" and "Jada") seem a bit frivolous. Best are "Honeysuckle Rose," "Panama" and "Cotton Tail."