ELLIOT LAWRENCE BIG BAND
Swings Cohn And Kahn (Fantasy)

Reviewed by DJ Johnson



Elliot Lawrence was about a decade too young or he would have been in the thick of the big band boom with the Millers, James', Kaysers and the rest. Instead of changing with the times, he followed his heart into big band land, helping keep the flame burning through the late 40s and early 50s.

It could so easily have been a nostalgia act had it not been for the fact that Elliot's band was the real thing, with top flight players, several of whom composed for the group. Elliot, being a very smart man, was more than happy to have people like Gerry Mulligan composing for him. Wouldn't you be?

These recordings, which were culled from four post-Mulligan albums recorded between 1956 and 1957, feature the compositions of Al Cohn and Tiny Kahn, as well as a band that had Cohn and Zoot Sims together on saxophones. Well, imagine the perfection of that pairing and paint it across the entire canvas, and you've got the idea. The arrangements, the performances, the solos, the works: el perfecto.

Elliot, I believe, had already done a bit of radio work, and some television, as well, and little by little he morphed into the latter, leaving the world of big band behind. But every now and then some more of his recordings pop up and that's cause for attention. No, it's not authentic as far as era goes, but neither is some of Illinois Jacquet's best work (some of which was recorded less than 10 years ago), so purist schmurist. This is wonderful music to the ears of true fans of the big bands, and they know who they are.

Track List:

TNT * Blue Room * Who Fard That Shot? * My Heart Stood Still * Jeepers Creepers * Blues Alley * Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea * Ponce * Tenderly * Snapped Cap * Moten Swing * El's Bells * Alone Together * Maybe * Good Wood * Walkin' My Baby Back Home * Handmade * Cupcake * Music For Swingin' Dancers * Ivy Walk * Hackin' Around * Mood Midnight * Nightfall * Jazz Lullaby

© 2001 - DJ Johnson