Billy Maxted

The Art of Jazz

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For this obscure 1959 LP, pianist Billy Maxted's Manhattan Jazz Band often recalls Bob Crosby's Orchestra and Bobcats although without strict recreation and with fresh arrangements. The group (which also includes trumpeter Chuck Forsyth, trombonist Lee Gifford, clarinetist Dan Tracey, bassist Jack Lesberg, drummer Don MacLean and the great but underrated bass saxophonist Johnny Dengler) performs "Heart of My Heart" and seven dixieland standards including "Sugar Foot Strut," "Bill Bailey" and "High Society." Two of the numbers ("Little Rock Getaway" and "Honky Tonk Train") put the focus on the leader's piano. A fine set.