Joe Williams

Presenting Joe Williams and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra

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This CD reissues one of Joe Williams' finest recordings. Accompanied by the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, the singer is heard at the peak of his powers. The big band primarily functions as an ensemble (Snooky Young gets off some good blasts on "Nobody Knows the Way I Feel This Morning"), but the inventive Thad Jones arrangements ensure that his illustrious sidemen have plenty to play. Many of the selections (half of which have been in the singer's repertoire ever since) are given definitive treatment on this set (particularly a humorous "Evil Man Blues," "Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You," and "Smack Dab in the Middle"), and Williams scats at his best on "It Don't Mean a Thing." Get this one.

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