Elliot Lawrence: Jazz Goes Broadway / The Four Brothers….Together Again!

Fifties college favourite leads such as Art Farmer, Zoot Sims and Serge Chaloff in arrangements by Al Cohn, Manny Albam and Lawrence himself

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The public first became aware of Elliot Lawrence in 1945 when he was the leader of the house band on Philadelphia’s radio station WCAU. Through the medium of a national broadcasting arrangement the band became so popular that he decided to take it on the road.

Essentially a jazz-influenced dance band playing charts by Al Cohn, Tiny Kahn and Gerry Mulligan, it became a particular favourite of the college crowd for prom dates. That said Elliot’s 1949 recording of Mulligan’s Elevation was named as one of the top 50 jazz recordings by the Smithsonian Institute. By 1957 he had disbanded and began working in television and radio.

For Jazz Goes Broadway he assembled an all-star group performing charts by Al Cohn, Manny Albam and Lawrence himself. Some highlights include Jimmy Cleveland overcoming the trite Jubilation T. Cornepone with a performance of elegance and style. Just In Time has Al Cohn proving to be just as soulful on baritone as he was on tenor. Zoot Sims is swing personified on the gentle I’ve Grown Accustomed and Gene Quill really tears it up on Mack The Knife.

Four Brothers….Together Again was recorded 10 years after Woody Herman’s Second Herd surprised the jazz world with a new sax-section voicing featuring a lead tenor. Stan Getz is the only original Brother missing and his place was taken by Al Cohn. Serge Chaloff was unwell at the time. The sleeve-note does not mention that Charlie O’Kane took his place on some ensemble passages although all baritone solos are Chaloff’s. The Swinging Door is better known as The Red Door and Four And One Moore is mistitled as Four And One More. No attempt was made to replicate Jimmy Giuffre’s classic Four Brothers chart; Cohn created a new arrangement for the session which was revisited on Harry Allen’s 2015 Candy Men date.

Discography
[Jazz Goes Broadway] (1) Jubilation T. Cornepone; (2) Just In Time; (1) Big D; (2) I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face; On The Street Where You Live; (1) Mack The Knife; (2) Joey, Joey, Joey; (1) If’N; (2) Look At ’Er; Standing On The Corner; (3) [The Four Brothers Together Again] Ten Years Later; Four And One More; So Blue; The Swinging Door; Four In Hand; A Quick One; Four Brothers; The Pretty One; Aged In Wood; Here We Go Again (77.19)
Lawrence with:
(1) Art Farmer (t); Jimmy Cleveland (tb); Gene Quill (as); Zoot Sims (ts); Al Cohn (bar); Chubby Jackson (b); Don Lamond (d). NYC, 7 May 1957.
(2) as (1) Nick Travis (t) replaces Farmer; Urbie Green (tb) replaces Cleveland; Hal McKusick (as) replaces Quill. NYC, 8 May 1957.
(3) Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, Herbie Steward (ts); Serge Chaloff (bar); Buddy Jones (b); Don Lamond (d). NYC, 11 February 1957.
Fresh Sound Records FSR-CD 1072