Manny Albam

Sketches of Jazz: Music From the Book of Life - Arranged & Conducted by Manny Albam

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Although it is not obvious or ever stated in its budget packaging, this CD reissues all of Manny Albam's Solid State album The Soul of the City along with eight of the dozen selections from his Brass on Fire set. The former mostly focuses on originals while the latter has standards. Albam always had a swinging arranging style and, although these interpretations are often quite brief (12 of the 18 numbers are under three minutes in length), there are some individual moments along the way for trombonist J.J. Johnson; altoist Phil Woods; pianist Hank Jones; vibraphonist Mike Mainieri; tenor saxophonist Frank Wess; and trumpeters Burt Collins, Freddie Hubbard, and Ernie Royal. But these obscure dates deserve better packaging!

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