This is the birthday of saxophonist and bandleader Al Belletto (1928-2014), providing a perfect reason to listen to two of the recordings he and his sextet made in 1957. This version of the band had Belletto, alto saxophone; Willie Thomas, trumpet; Jimmy Guinn, trombone; Skip Fawcett, bass; Tommy Montgomery, drums; and Fred Crane, piano and baritone saxophone. Every time I hear this, I wish that I had been in the studio to see Crane finish his baritone solo and half a second later begin his piano solo, both excellent.
As much as their musicianship, the Belletto band’s versatility was part of what kept them working in a time when jazz groups still had a shot at riding the wave of popular culture. Here’s one of their records that got considerable airtime. Solos: Crane, Belletto, Guinn. Personnel changes: Chubby Jackson, the former Woody Herman sideman, is on bass, Charles McKnight is the drummer.
For in-depth information about Al Belletto and his career, go to this page in the Rifftides archive and scroll down.