141

The Four Freshmen: Celebrating 50 Years

By

Sign in to view read count
The Four Freshmen were extraordinarily popular during the 1950's and 60's when they worked with Woody Herman and were part of those elaborate Stan Kenton road shows. Not only did they feature extra close harmony, but they were unique in that they were also pretty good instrumentalists as well.

The occasion for this performance was a massive jazz concert in Clearwater, FL in 1971 which had Stan Kenton and Woody Herman, as well as other jazz artists on the bill. This iteration of the vocal group had three of the original members plus Bill Comstock who had replaced Don Barbour a few years after the group was formed.

would be so nice to report that they sounded just like they used to and the listen will be swamped with waves of happy nostalgia. The fact, however, is they are off form in this concert and actually wander from the pitch from time to time as on "Misty Roses" and on "Girl Talk." That harmony that used to enthrall, now sounds more like four middle-aged men trying to stay in tune and together. In fairness, they apparently had a long trip from LA and just made the Clearwater gig which may have thrown them off. Also, the session is marred by exaggerated self congratulation antics after each tune. There are still some good instrumental solos, like Bob Flanigan's trombone on "Day by Day" and Ken Albers' trumpet on "Route 66". But most of the time the singing sounds as if they are doing a parody of themselves.

The warm memories Four Freshmen fans have of this group as well as the esteem of the group itself, would have been better served if the tape of this concert stayed in the can.


Track Listing: Day in, Day out; Freshmen Introduction; Misty Roses; Bird Avenue; Girl Talk; Day By Day; Come Back to Me; In This Whole Wide World; Angel Eyes; Route 66; I Can Sing a Rainbow; Poinciana; Candy; Teach Me Tonight; Graduation Day; Beautiful Friendship; Sweet Lorraine; Polka Dots and Moonbeams; It's a Blue World; We'll Be Together Again

Personnel: Ross Barbour - Vocals/Drums/Trumpet; Bob Flanagan - Bass/Trombone; Ken Albers - Bass/Trumpet/Flugelhorn/Tambourine; Bill Comstock - Guitar

| Record Label: Hitchcock Media Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Blooming Tall Phlox" CD/LP/Track Review Blooming Tall Phlox
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "The BBC Sessions Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review The BBC Sessions Vol. 1
by Rokas Kucinskas
Published: October 29, 2016
Read "The Long Road" CD/LP/Track Review The Long Road
by Troy Collins
Published: November 20, 2016
Read "Shuffle Along" CD/LP/Track Review Shuffle Along
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 25, 2016
Read "Resolution" CD/LP/Track Review Resolution
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 15, 2016
Read "Alien Flower Sutra" CD/LP/Track Review Alien Flower Sutra
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 24, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!