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January/February 1999

Bud Shank/B. Cooper with The Netherlands Metropole Orchestra
A Flower is a Lovesome Thing
E1 Music

Since 1945, The Metropole Orchestra has spotlighted some of the world's best soloists on radio broadcasts and recordings. No exception, this 10-tune collection evenly split between saxophonists Bud Shank and Bob Cooper features stimulating arrangements conducted by Rob Pronk or Dolf van der Linden. Recording dates are not listed but multi-reedist Cooper passed away in 1993. Because he and Shank were long-time associates since the 1950s and mainstays in the Lighthouse All-Stars, it's fitting to feature them as headliners here. Shank generates gorgeously raspy alto sax renderings on the Jules Styne beauty "Never Neverland," the warhorses "Like Someone In Love" and "Speak Low," and doubles masterfully on flute for "Body and Soul" and on Prank's sweet arrangement of "Conisamba." With his full-bodied tenorisms, Cooper meritoriously enhances "Nobody Else But Me," "Raincheck," "Speak Low," "Stella By Starlight" and the title tune. Of the many recordings featuring the Metropole Orchestra, this one with two such esteemed veterans at the helm ranks among the finest

Originally published in January/February 1999
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