World's Greatest Jazz Band

Plays Cole Porter

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By 1975 the World's Greatest Jazz Band was starting to decline. Its personnel had changed but was still impressive (trumpeters Yank Lawson and John Best, trombonists Carl Fontana and George Masso, tenor saxophonist Tommy Newsom, clarinetist Peanuts Hucko, pianist Ralph Sutton, bassist Bob Haggart and drummer Gus Johnson) despite Bob Wilber, Vic Dickenson and Bud Freeman having departed. But its Songbook series (which resulted in full sets of the music of Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hart, Duke Ellington and George Gershwin) was generally disappointingly tepid and over-arranged. There are some fine solos on the 12 Cole Porter tunes but only two of the performances exceed three minutes in length (and just barely) and the arrangements would be better suited to a dance band than an all-star Dixieland group.