Two complete LPs from the defunct Famous Door label are reissued on this single CD, both featuring underrated horn players from the late '40s. Herbie Steward was one of Woody Herman's Four Brothers, but by the time he recorded in 1981 he was playing alto, soprano, and clarinet rather than tenor. Although he had been a studio musician for years, he could still swing well, as shown on such songs as "Take the 'A' Train" (taken as a waltz), "The Song Is You," and "Gone With the Wind." He is heard in a quintet also featuring guitarist Eddie Duran and either Smith Dobson or Tee Carson on piano. The second half of this CD features another Woody Herman veteran, trumpeter Marky Markowitz, in a sextet with trombonist Urbie Green, tenor saxophonist Al Cohn, and pianist John Bunch. Markowitz is in fine form on a few group originals, a swinging "On the Alamo," and "How Deep Is the Ocean?" This set is easily recommended to swing/bop collectors.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow
feat: Marky Markowitz Sextet