Mundell Lowe & His All Stars / Mundell Lowe All Stars

Porgy & Bess

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This obscure LP is well-worth searching for. Guitarist Mundell Lowe heads an all-star group also including trumpeter Art Farmer, Don Elliott on mellophone and vibes, Tony Scott on baritone and clarinet, tenor saxophonist Ben Webster, bassist George Duvivier, and either Osie Johnson or Ed Shaughnessy (who also takes a rare solo on vibes) on drums. The musicians perform a set of themes from George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, including "Summertime," "I Loves You Porgy," "Redheaded Woman" (which is turned into a cooking blues), and "It Ain't Necessarily So." Three numbers are played by the Lowe/Duvivier/Shaughnessy trio, while the octet is featured on the other selections. Webster and Scott (who mostly plays baritone) are in particularly fine form, and Lowe's arrangements are colorful and swinging, doing justice to the music while turning the familiar themes into jazz.

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