Various Artists

The Third All Star Jazz Show

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During 1958-59, there were four Timex All-Star Jazz television specials; this 1986 LP has the music from the third special. As is true of most jazz specials made for the general audience, there are many all-too-brief moments from major players, with the emphasis on personalities who matured during the swing era. In fact, of the 16 performances on this album, all could have been double in length. The stars are Louis Armstrong, Anita O'Day (who is excellent scatting on "Four Brothers"), Lionel Hampton, Gene Krupa, the Bob Crosby Bobcats (jamming "Royal Garden Blues" and welcoming Armstrong to "South Rampart Street Parade"), the Les Brown Orchestra, and surprisingly, the Chico Hamilton Quintet (with Eric Dolphy heard in spots on flute and clarinet). Nightclub singer Jane Morgan is fairly harmless on "You Do Something to Me" (in which she's backed by Hamilton's group). Hoagy Carmichael and Bob Crosby act as the hosts, and somehow Carmichael keeps a medley of his songs (featuring Morgan, O'Day, the two co-hosts and Armstrong) from getting out of control; Armstrong easily steals the show. Now if only the kinescope (along with the others in this series) was widely available.