Various Artists

The Tempo Jazzmen/The Hermanites

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This LP from the English Spotlite label has two brilliant sessions. The Tempo Jazzmen is essentially the group that Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker brought to Los Angeles. Bird did not show up for this session (which resulted in five songs plus two alternate takes) but tenor-saxophonist Lucky Thompson proved to be a fine replacement; vibraphonist Milt Jackson is also heard in top early form. However it is the session by The Hermanites that is of greatest interest for these were arguably the finest recordings of the ill-fated trumepter Sonny Berman. There are individual features for trombonist Bill Harris and baritonist Serge Chaloff but it is the haunting "Nocturne" (also titled "Moonbeams") that is most memorable. Overall this is a highly recommended set that is long overdue to be reissued on CD.