Romeo Penque (cl, as, oboe), Phil Bodner (fl, cl), Peanuts Hucko (cl), Charlie O'Kane (fl, b-cl), Sam Marowitz, Gene Quill (as), Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, Eddie Wasserman (ts), Sol Schlinger (bs), Hank Jones (p), Milt Hinton (b), Osie Johnson (d)
Reference: FSRCD 1639
Bar code: 8427328616393
This CD contains sides made by three different groupings of reedmen and rhythm section. The usual big band section, as featured in group one, gets a fine sound and offers Al Cohn and Gene Quill a framework for some excellent soloing. John Williams is heard from, too, with his solidly swinging piano style.
The second grouping, with a woodwind instrumentation lends a different coloration to the section. Peanuts Hucko is featured on clarinet, Phil Bodner plays good flute, and Boomie Richman sounds great on bass clarinet.
The third set has three tenors and a baritone. A Four Brothers sound with Al and Zoot soloing and Hank Jones playing really lovely piano tasty, clean, and swingingbehind them and on his own solos. As an experiment in the various shapes a sax section can be drawn in, this was a very successful project.
"Al Cohn's writing for small groups is always appealing, and this set is no exception. Leading three separate groups consisting of various reeds (and no brass) plus a rhythm section, Cohn obtains marvelous results from his groups of all-stars and veteran session musicians. The first session concentrates on saxophones, including Cohn and Eddie Wasserman on tenor saxes, Sam Marowitz and Gene Quill on alto saxes, with Sol Schlinger on the baritone sax. Cohn's swinging "Shazam" brings the swing era to mind, while "Tears by Me Out the Heart" is a warm ballad. The second meeting is more of a mixed bag, with Boomie Richman, Peanuts Hucko, Romeo Penque, Phil Bodner, Charlie O'Kane, and the leader switching out between various reed instruments from one track to the next. Particularly effective is Cohn's exotic arrangement of "While My Lady Sleeps," featuring two flutes in the lead, backed by oboe, clarinet, and bass clarinet. The final date matches three tenor saxophonists (Zoot Sims and Eddie Wasserman joining the leader) and Sol Schlinger again on baritone. The feeling throughout these tracks touches on the work of the big bands of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Woody Herman, always swinging, with plenty of hot solos and tight ensembles. This long-unavailable record is worth acquiring."
—Ken Dryden (All Music Guide)