A great collection of a unique showcase in 50s jazz – large group recordings by arranger Manny Albam, done to showcase some of the best players of the time from both the New York and LA scenes! The sessions were originally recorded for Decca
– with volume 1 featuring mostly players from New York, and volume 2 featuring the cream of the crop of the west coast scene. The format was simple – in that Albam would pen arrangements for longish tracks that brought together the whole ensemble – then allowed plenty of space for players to break out in well-crafted solos. Artists include Art Farmer, Harry Edison, Conte Candoli, Bob Brookmeyer, Phil Woods, Zoot Sims, Bill Holman, Gerry Mulligan, Charlie Mariano, Milt Hinton, Lou Levy, Hank Jones, and Pepper Adams – and tracks include "See Here Miss Bromley", "Poor Dr Millmoss", "Blues From Neither Coast", "Home Brew", "Little Eye Opener", "Blues Over Easy (parts 1 & 2)", and "Afterthoughts". 2CD set features 20 tracks in all – seemingly a lot more than on the original albums!