Ralph Burns

Where There's Burns, There's Fire

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    6
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Ralph Burns is widely heralded for the imaginative arrangements and compositions that he contributed to Woody Herman and other bandleaders over his long career. This album is somewhat uneven, as it is occasionally plagued with gimmicks like moving various instruments from one channel to another to highlight the fairly recent arrival of stereo on the market, along with the presence of annoying strings, which contribute little to the charts. Fortunately, these distractions are overcome by the strong mix of songs and the first-rate musicians on the date, who include Zoot Sims, Bob Brookmeyer, Urbie Green, Al Cohn, Toots Mondello, Irwin "Marky" Markowitz, and the leader on piano, though none of the other players are identified. Among the most memorable tracks are the sassy "Old Devil Moon" and a remake of Burns' "Bijou," both of which showcase Urbie Green. This Warwick LP will be somewhat challenging to track down.

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