Australian Jazz Quartet

The Australian Jazz Quintet at the Varsity Drag

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In the mid-'50s, the Australian Jazz Quartet were considered an unusual group since, in addition to piano, bass, and drums, their instrumentation had alto or flute, tenor or bassoon, and vibes. The band featured their own sly wit, which is often in evidence on this collection of tunes, particularly on "Varsity Drag." In addition to seven standards (including "Alone Together," "The Lady Is a Tramp," and "It Might As Well Be Spring"), the Aussies play three songs by Bill Holman, one from Med Flory, and an obscurity. The blend of bassoon, flute, and vibes in some sections is quite memorable even if the music overall was not all that innovative. Although a touch lightweight (with each of the selections clocking in around three minutes apiece), the results are enjoyable.

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