Phil Urso

Taking Sides

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The cool-toned tenor Phil Urso is best-known for his stint with Chet Baker in the mid-'50s. He led a few sessions during 1953-58 but this rare 1986 LP was his first as a leader in 28 years. Urso is teamed with fellow tenor Allen Eager (another lost legend), the underrated trumpeter Pete Minger, pianist Eddie Higgins, bassist Don Coffman and drummer Steve Bagby for a set of bebop-oriented music. The sextet performs four jazz standards (including "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" and Tadd Dameron's "Sid's Delight") plus two of Urso's originals and each of the musicians plays up to their potential. This LP is a real collector's item and should greatly interest bop collectors.