The highlights are many in this set, not the least of which is the 24 bitdigital remastering, which makes the band really jump out of your audio setup.The brass section is heavily featured, as well it should be. Bill Chase is featured , as well as tenorist Sal Nistico, on the funky opener "Molasses". Theold Ellington standard "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" is given a fresh , swinging new look, with a tasty Paul Fontaine muted trumpet solo. And dig thatshout chourus! Horace Silver's "Sister Sadie" is one of the most impressive tracks. It swings ruthlessly from start to finish, with some incredible call and response tight section work from the band. Sal Nistico delivers a probing,hot solo, and one cannot underestimate the great swinging feel that Jake Hannabrought to this band. Phil Wilson literally made a name for himself with his startling solo on "It's A Lonesome Old Town" , and he solos again along withthe tenorist Gordon Brisker on the humorous final cut, "Camel Walk" , which also features the glorious lead trumpet of the late Bill Chase.
This was one incredibly hot band , and it is hoped that Phillips willfollow through on releasing the other albums in the series.(The complete liverecordings of the band at Basin Street West in 1963 are reportedly being prepared for reissue) Woody's band was very definitely at a peak during thisperiod, and these are important recordings which deserve the proper reissuetreatment. Meanwhile, test "1963" on some of your more impressionable friends.Make no mistake, they have NEVER heard a big band like this one.