The Sound of Larry Sonn & His All-Star Band (4 LP on 2 CD) + Bonus Tracks
  • Larry Sonn
    Larry Sonn
  • Coral CRL 57057
    Coral CRL 57057
  • Coral CRL 57035
    Coral CRL 57035
  • Coral CRL 57104
    Coral CRL 57104
  • Coral CRL 57123
    Coral CRL 57123
  • Dot DLP 29005
    Dot DLP 29005

Larry Sonn

The Sound of Larry Sonn & His All-Star Band (4 LP on 2 CD) + Bonus Tracks

Fresh Sound Records


Larry Sonn (1919-2015) trumpeter and former sideman with Charlie Barnet, Hal McIntyre, Teddy Powell and other units, moved to Mexico in 1944, where he went on to lead one of the most popular bands in the country. A decade had gone by when in early 1955 he decided to return to the American musical scene and organize a new orchestra to in his own words blow some jazz and some good dance music, too. His new band first received national exploitation via a Saturday night exposure on NBCs Monitor, with commentary by Al Jazzbo Collins.

This CD it shows the development of Sonns American effort, from the inception of the band, through its development and until it had become a settled unit. The first four selections here were recorded Oct. 7, 1955, when the band had been in existence for barely two months. The remaining numbers, played by a crack collection of New York freelancers, were cut at sessions between 1956 and 1958. The bands book grew but remained uncluttered, featuring loose swinging modern arrangements by chief arranger Manny Albam, with contributions by Al Cohn, Nat Pierce, and Bob Brookmeyer, and scores by Sonn himself. It was a short-lived all-star band with a sharp collective bite, flow, and beat, with a bright, handsome, brassy sound, skillful arrangements and some exceptional soloistsmeat and drink to any big band aficionado.


Sample this album
Disc 1
Disc 2
Total time: 151:48 min.

CD 1

01. Zanzy (Albam) 2:41
02. Ida Bridges Falling Down (Albam) 2:46
03. Nutty (Cohn) 2:54
04. ODem Bums (Cohn) 2:38
05. Introduction by Al Jazzbo Collins 1:00
06. Zanzy (Albam) 3:17
07. Ida Bridges Falling Down (Albam) 2:37
08. Frank But Ernest (Cohn) 2:57
09. Close Cover Before Striking (Albam) 2:46
10. It Looks Like Rain in Cherry Blossom Lane
(Burke-Leslie) 2:38
11. From A to Z (Cohn) 2:45
12. The Flat Cap (Albam) 2:08
13. Lemon Twist (Troup) 2:24
14. The Sonn Also Rises (Albam) 2:23
15. We 3 (Robertson-Cogane-Mysels) 2:44
16. Why Dont You Do Right (McCoy) 3:11
17. After Youve Gone (Creamer-Layton) 2:59
18. Ill Buy That Dream
(Wrubel-Herb-Magidson) 2:16
19. Sposin (Denniker-Razaf) 2:09
20. King Porter Stomp (Morton) 2:33
21. Take Care (Cates-Auld-Auld) 2:29
22. Ill Be Back for More
(Gallop-Sampson-Cameron) 3:12
23. Prisoner of Love (Robin-Gaskill-Colombo) 2:51
24. Im Glad There Is You (Madeira-Dorsey) 3:00
25. Temptation (Brown-Freed) 2:43
26. The Roaring Fifties (Pierce) 3:23
27. The Sky Fell Down (Ellington-Towne) 2:19
28. I Aint Got Nobody (and Nobody Cares for Me)
(Williams-Graham) 2:30
29. I Hear Music (Lane-Loesser) 2:14

CD 2

01. Lulus Back in Town (Warren-Dubin) 1:50
02. All I Do Is Dream of You (Brown-Freed) 2:16
03. Congo Mombo (Gable-West) 2:20
04. My Heart Stood Still (Rodgers-Hart) 2:59
05. Nice Work If You Can Get It
(G. & I. Gershwin) 2:26
06. Sing Something Simple (Hupfeld) 2:42
07. Youre Driving Me Crazy (Donaldson) 2:16
08. Darn That Dream (Van Heusen-DeLange) 3:23
09. My Baby Just Cares for Me
(Donaldson-Kahn) 2:37
10. I Gotta Run (Lawrence) 2:15
11. Too Late (Albam) 2:35
12. Youre Right, Im Wrong
(Sampson-Goodman-Palmer) 1:51
13. Real Eyeable (Albam) 2:21
14. Tom Thumb (Warren) 2:20
15. A Smooth One (Goodman-Royal) 2:36
16. Scotts Tape (Manny Albam) 3:22
17. Trouble Is a Man (Wilder) 3:45
18. Down for Double (Green) 3:25
19. Ill Be Around (Wilder) 3:33
20. The Great Lie (Gibson-Calloway) 3:32
21. Well Aint It? (Cohn) 3:10
22. Blue Champagne (Reyersson-Watts) 4:12
23. A Stranger In Town (Tormé) 3:30
24. Aint It The Truth (Basie-Harding) 3:37
25. Levys Leap (Brookmeyer) 3:09
26. Music for Drowning Your Troubles
(Brookmeyer) 3:24

Album details


CD 1, tracks #1-4 & #8-15 from the Coral album
The Sound of Sonn (CRL 57057)

CD 1, tracks #5-7 from the Coral album
East Coast Jazz Scene (CRL 57035)

CD 1, tracks #16-27 from the Coral album
Its Sonn Again (CRL 57104)

CD 1, tracks #28-29 from the Coral album
The Vocal Sounds of The Key Men (CRL 57112)

CD 2, tracks #1-2 from the Coral album
The Vocal Sounds of The Key Men (CRL 57112)

CD 2, track #3 from the Coral single 61759

CD 2, tracks #4-15 from the Coral album
A Smooth One (CRL 57123)

CD 2, tracks #16-26 from the Dot album
Having a Ball (DLP 29005)

Personnel in CD 1:

Larry Sonn (tp, arr), with collective personnel including: Jack Hanson, Jimmy Nottingham, Abbey Hoffer, Al Maiorca, Nick Travis, Bernie Glow, Rusty Dedrick,immy Maxwell (tp); Bobby Ascher, Harry de Vito, Sid Harris, Morty Trautman, Fred Zito, George Monte, Sonny Russo, Jim Dahl, Urbie Green (tb); Hal McKusick, Phil Woods, Rich Henry, Sam Marowitz, Anthony Ortega (as); Al Cohn, Bernie Fox, Frank Socolow, Dick Hafer (ts); Jack Agee, Danny Bank, Charlie OKane (bs); George Devens, Tedd Sommer (vb); John Williams, Fern Facon, Nat Pierce (p); Jimmy Norton, Billy Bauer, Mundell Lowe, Freddie Green, Barry Galbraith (g); Milt Hinton, Roy Shain, Pete Compo (b); Gus Johnson, Osie Johnson (d); The Key Men: Keith Textor, Lou Anderson, Bob Olinger, Jerry Duane (vcl, #28-29).

Recorded in New York City, October 7 (#1-4), 1955; live at Pythian Temple, New York City, November 7 (#5-7), 1955; New York City, April 10 (#8-11), April 11 (#12-15), October 3 (#16-21), October 4 (#23-27), 22 (#28-29), 1956

Arrangements by Larry Sonn, Manny Albam, Al Cohn and Nat Pierce

Personnel in CD 2:

Larry Sonn (tp, arr), with collective personnel including: Jimmy Maxwell, Bernie Glow, Abbey Hoffer, Nick Travis, Al Maiorca, Burt Collins, Charlie Shavers, Al De Risi, Ernie Royal, Joe Wilder (tp); Bob Brookmeyer (vtb); Urbie Green, Jim Dahl, Tom Shepard, Bob Swope, Mort Troutman, Frank Rehak, Billy Byers, Tom Mitchell, Chauncey Welsh (tb); Tony Scott (cl); Sam Marowitz, Hal McKusick, Joe Lopes, Hal Stein, Phil Woods, Gene Quill (as); Al Cohn, Dick Hafer, Bernie Fox, Spencer Sinatra, Frank Socolow, Georgie Auld, Zoot Sims (ts); Charlie OKane, Sol Schlinger, Gene Allen (bs); Nat Pierce, Hank Jones, Bob Corwin, Dick Katz (p); Barry Galbraith (g); Milt Hinton, Ernie Furtado (b); Osie Johnson, Gus Johnson, Al Beldini (d); The Key Men: Keith Textor, Lou Anderson, Bob Olinger, Jerry Duane (vcl #1-2); The Smooth Ones (vcl #15)

Recorded in New York City, October 22 (#1-2), November 20 (#3-5), 1956; February 1 (#6-7), April 8 (#8-10), 1957; March 3 (#11-15), June 6 (#16-19), June 15 (#20-22), June 24 (#23-26), 1958

Arrangements by Manny Albam, Al Cohn, Larry Sonn and Bob Brookmeyer

Original recordings produced by Bob Thiele

Compiled and produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol
Mono / Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered

Press reviews

"Back in the mid 50s, big bands were having a tough time finding themselves, being overlooked in favor of the cool sounds of the West Coast or the more complex sounds of bebop or Third Stream music. Here, you get Charlie Barnet alumnus Larry Sonn taking his trumpet and bringing together a collection of swingers with a collection of fresh tunes and charts on this 2 disc set of a handful of albums.

You get here a mix of concert and studio sessions from 1955-56,and the charts include section work and solos by the likes of Phil Woods/as, Al Cohn/ts, Milt Hinton/b, Gus John son/dr, Nat Pierce/p, Munddell Lowe-Freddie Green/g just for starters. The charts are delivered by Al Cohn, Nat Pierce and Bob Brookmeyer as well as Sonn, and they sound like something that would keep Woody Herman up at night in a jealous fit. These guys are SWINGERS!!!

Yes, there are some standards such as Darn That Dream, My Heart Stood Still and King Porter Stomp, but they are goosed up and sound marvelously modern. Lulus Back in Town is as sharp as fins on a 61 Caddie, while Im Glad There Is You is marvelously oozy. What feels as fresh as morning shower are the pieces by Manny Albam such as Ida Bridges Falling Down and Zanzy while Al Cohns tunes like From A to Z and Frank But Earnest make you wonder why youve never heard them before. Brookmeyers cooler tones on Levys Leap and Music For Drowning Your Troubles includes a formidable sax section in Phil Woods, Gene Quill, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims and Gen Allen and they are as fluid as sorghum molasses.

The band swings like its Kansas City on Freddie Greens Down For Double and Tony Scott, Charlie Shavers and Georgie Auld make the Swing Era sound modern on Scotts Tape and The Great Lie. All of the songs are around 2-4 minutes, the solos are concise and lyrical and the rhythm sections make you want to DANCE. Isnt that what jazz was initially created for?"

George W. Harris (January 25, 2016)

Larry Sonn's prime objective was to provide smooth music for dancing, and I thought at first that this would inhibit the stars. But the orchestrations are so brilliant and the soloists, though restrained, are so gifted that I was overcome by the fine quality of the music.

The best jazz comes in the last three sessions where Charlie Shavers, Tony Scott, George Auld and Bob Brookmeyer break out. Al Cohn swing hardest here on Ain't It The Truth, but then he's the most constant swinger throughout all the sessions. The last four tracks are arranged by Brookmeyer and Katz does a lovely Basie. Bob breaks the rules by wailing on Levy's Leap, surely a threat to the ankles of any dancer. The drummer here is Osie, but elsewhere Gus proves that he was one of the most consistently good drummers. Tony Scott dominates the session he's on, whilst Charlie Shavers explodes into it with one typical solo. Georgie Auld is very good, too, playing fine mainstream tenor. There are nice trips for Phil Woods, but overall Al Cohn is the most prolific soloist, also contributing typically good charts. Manny Albam seems to have been Sonn's resident writer in the early sessions, whilst Barry Galbraith is the best of the fine rhythm guitar players. John Williams (yes, it's him) has one piano statement in the first session, and Nat Pierce is quietly efficient, also contributing to the library.

Sonn was a bit of a mystery man, spending most of his career by choice in Mexico. Jordi Pujol has accumulated all the known material in his booklet. Although he's pretty anonymous in his influence, Sonn had the sense to put together amazing groups and then to keep out of their way.
Steve Voce, Jazz Journal (February 2016)


14,95 €  (tax incl.)

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