Various Artists

Swing...Not Spring!

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This Savoy CD is a straight reissue of an identically titled LP compilation, though, as par for the course, there are several mistakes on the cover. Vibraphonist Terry Gibbs leads his sextet during a cool set from 1951 (not 1958, as shown), including a swinging run through "Begin the Beguine" and a rhumba treatment of "I've Got You Under My Skin." Clarinetist Hal McKusick shares the solo spotlight with the leader. The four tracks by the Billy Mitchell Group were originally made for Dee Gee in 1948 before being acquired by Savoy. The tenor saxophonist is joined by trumpeter Thad Jones, who made many recordings with Mitchell in the years which followed, both in and out of the Count Basie band. Neither Mitchell's originals nor his interpretations of standards such as "Blue Room" or "Alone Together" is particularly remarkable, though the music is enjoyable. The rhythm section includes a very young Elvin Jones on drums. The tragic trombonist Frank Rosolino leads a 1952 session, also originally recorded for Dee Gee. Joined by pianist Barry Harris, bassist Billy Christ, and drummer Stan Levey, Rosolino is in great form on his driving original, "Rubberneck," as well as a spirited take of the oldie "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." This now-unavailable CD will be of interest to bop and cool jazz fans, though the lack of proofreading of names and song titles somewhat diminishes its value.

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