After a pretty successful year in 1944, the Cootie Williams big band struggled for a period before breaking up in 1947. The veteran trumpeter (who had been a bandleader since leaving Benny Goodman in late 1941) is heard on this imported LP leading his orchestra on two titles from 1945 and the last eight recordings by his big band in 1947 along with a pair of small group sides from both 1947 and 1950. Although Cootie was always a swing stylist, his ensembles were open to the influences of both early R&B and bop. Ten of the 14 numbers on this LP have vocals (by either Tony Warren, Bob Merrell or Eddie Mack) but those are usually reasonably enjoyable. Highlights of the set are the more rambunctious R&B selections, especially "Typhoon" which features the screaming tenor of Weasel Parker.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow