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on 24 June 2008
Actually, I own the Italian edition of the CD, which starts with Monterey set (last 5 numbers of this CD) instead of the Reinessance club (LA) set (everything else).

The great, flexible and very suggestive vocal of Jimmy Witherspoon (Spoon) is in the all-stars jazz company in both sets; the mighty tenor of Ben Webster and sensitive but explosive drumming of Mel Lewis connect the sessions (both concerts were held in 1959). On the Reneissance club set The Spoon is joined by a great youngster Gerry Mulligan, who has once again proved how capable he was of working with older musicians, Jimmy Rowles on piano and Leroy Vinegar on bass and it's quite obvious that both the singer and the players now how to merge jazz and blues.

However, it is the Monterey set I really dig; with Coleman Hawkins (ts), Roy Eldridge (tp) Woody Herman (cl) and Earl "Fatha" Hines (p) (in addition to the already mentioned) cook up a storm, with some really hot solos, great accompanyiment and some explosive riffs and climaxes...

The choice of material is brilliant (mostly standards); if you're new to blues or jazz, you should check out this album....
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on 29 July 2010
Jimmy Witherspoon has one of those rich black voices which combines Gospel, and Blues routes with music from the great Swing Bands or the 40s and 50s and even the rock ' roll years. To hear his performance in these two recordings of live concert performance was for me a revelation. This is great toe-tapping stuff and what jazz singing is all about. Fast, mellow at times, sung with gusto and a sense of humour, with great jazz players like Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Earl Hines. Jerry Mulligan in support. Just listen to him sing 'How Long Blues" or 'Every Day I have the Blues' and go to heaven!
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