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Four Freshmen: In Session

While breezing through In Session (Four Freshmen), the first original Four Freshmen disc in more than a decade, keep the emphasis fully on “fresh.” Since the group’s inception in 1948 there have been no fewer than 23 personnel changes, and none of the current Freshmen-lead singer Brian Eichenberger plus Curtis Calderon, Vince Johnson and Bob Ferreira-overlapped with any of the original foursome (Ferreira, the longest standing of the extant crew, replaced founding member Bob Flanigan in 1992). Fresh also pertains to the 11 standards covered here, none of which has previously been recorded by any configuration of Freshmen. So, the voices are new, as are the songs. But the sound-that trademark mix of tight harmonies, keen jazz instincts and tremendous joviality-is here in spades, making this the best, brightest and most satisfying Freshmen release since the group’s sublime 1972 homecoming (when Flanigan and Ross Barbour were both still onboard) captured on Live at Butler University.

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