Scott Yanow`s Review of The Don Albert CD
Date Posted: 2006-08-07
Southwest Jazz Band
Featuring Don Albert
When one thinks of the name Jim Cullum, it is of the fine cornetist who leads a major classic jazz band on San Antonio and stars on the Riverwalk From The Landing radio series. But actually that is Jim Cullum Jr., for his father Jim Cullum Sr. was a fluent and colorful clarinetist who originally led the Happy Jazz Band that introduced his son to the jazz world.
The Southwest Jazz Band was the predecessor of both the Happy Jazz Band and the Alamo City Jazz Band. The latter has been led up to the present time by trombonist Chuck Reiley. Cullum and Reiley are joined on this 1961 recording by a solid rhythm section and trumpeter Don Albert, a veteran of the 1920s who led a top swing band in the 1930s. Oddly enough, Albert did not play on his big band recordings but, after years off the scene, he worked hard and got his lip back in shape. He was at the peak of his playing powers at the time of this recording.
The Southwest Jazz Band had access to 14 arrangements by Paul Crawford of classic jazz material for this excellent program; the CD also includes two alternate takes. The sextet performs exuberant versions of such songs as