Veteran trombonist/arranger George Masso’s 10-piece group sounds a lot like a hip dance band. Some of the leader’s 10 arrangements suggest a scaled-down version of the kind of conservative charts Woody Herman and others often used for dances. Here they serve mainly as vehicles for extensive soloing by the leader and an excellent group of improvisers that includes tenorist/clarinetist Dick Johnson, trumpeter Lou Colombo, guitarist Jon Wheatley and baritonist/clarinetist/flutist Mark Phaneuf. But among the arrangements of songs by such composers as Cole Porter, Sammy Kahn, Duke Ellington (“Black Butterfly”), Irving Berlin and Jerome Kern are some that attract attention to themselves because of Masso’s interesting voicings. One example is Porter’s “Ev’rytime We Say Goodbye,” which features a gently swinging trombone quartet with the baritone saxophone subbing for the fourth trombone.
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