Standards of Excellence

Al Cohn

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Standards of Excellence Review

by Scott Yanow

This was tenor saxophonist Al Cohn's last Concord recording, and despite how well he was playing during this era, he would not record as a leader again until three final efforts in 1987. Joined by a pianoless trio comprised of guitarist Herb Ellis, bassist Monty Budwig, and drummer Jimmie Smith, Cohn performs eight standards with his usual creative invention and driving swing. The biggest surprise about the repertoire is the absence of any Cohn originals or obscurities. Highlights include "Russian Lullaby," "I Want to Be Happy," and "When Day Is Done."

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