Soprano Summit

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In Concert

A mainstream-swing revival band, with Bob Wilbur and Kenny Davern playing sopranos and clarinets, Marty Grosz on guitar and vocals, and Ray Brown and Jake Hanna on bass and drums, this 1976 live album is full of atmosphere and classic performances. Although the material, sound and approach are firmly rooted in the ‘20s and ‘30s, this is living music, rather than an attempt to recreate the past, with Ray Brown driving the music along with the more sophisticated kind of lines jazz bassists developed in the ‘50s, while Wilbur and Davern sometimes go quite far-out in their solos, playing with the kind of intensity and inventiveness generally associated with more modern players. The highlights are a suitably mournful version of a popular song from the great depression, ‘Brother, can you spare a dime?’, the quirky melody of ‘The Grapes are Ready’, a driving version of ‘Swing that Music’, and best of all ‘Doin’ the new low down’, which starts with some banter that for some reason or another never fails to amuse me, before Grosz kicks things off with his extremely memorable, if not particularly accomplished, Waller-inspired vocal.