Elliot Lawrence & His Orchestra

The Uncollected Elliot Lawrence & His Orchestra (1946)

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Quite young at the time (21), pianist Elliot Lawrence had a first-rate big band in 1946. This set of radio transcriptions (released on LP but not yet on CD) finds Lawrence heading a forward-looking late-period swing band that emphasizes danceable versions of standards. Three of the dozen arrangements are by occasional member Gerry Mulligan, there is solo space for trumpeter Alec Fila and tenorman Frank Lewis, Rosalind Patton takes four vocals and the charts sometimes utilize oboe, bassoon and French horn. Nothing all that startling occurs but there is a showcase for the somewhat forgotten orchestra.