Haggart considered the "Porgy and Bess" small band charts to be his best writing by far. They were recorded by an edition of the Lawson-Haggart Jazz Band in the late fifties. Unfortunately the recording was issued under Bob Crosby's name with no mention of musicians - or the arranger. It went nowhere. However, through some of the original charts augmented by transcriptions by Dick Hyman and Randy Sandke , we can now hear the score. It fills the first ten tracks of this CD.
Musical director Sandke and his all-star cast represent the high-quality musicianship that"Porgy and Bess" deserves. His brilliant horn shines through on "Summertime" and "Porgy" as it did on "What's New?." The other two trumpeters, Jon-Eric Kelso and Byron Stripling make their trumpets - and mutes- talk throughout. They whisper, growl and chatter. The versatile Ken Peplowski is everywhere, contributing some great solos along the way. John Allred lends his warm tone to " It Takes a Long Pull"while the rhythm section is the catalyst on the lightly swinging "Bess."
This CD is a fine tribute to Bob Haggart, reminding us of the days when life and music were simpler and happier but no less creative.