There is only one reason to bring you Manny Albam’s “Poor Dr. Millmoss”—it is a delight. It’s from the first of two Jazz Greats Of Our Time sessions that the prolific composer and arranger (pictured) recorded in the 1950s—one with star east coast musicians, the other with some of the most prominent west coast players. Albam made the east coast “Millmoss” in New York in 1957 with Gerry Mulligan, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, Phil Woods, Bob Brookmeyer, Nick Travis, Art Farmer, Osie Johnson, Milt Hinton and Hank Jones. In the video, the soloists are identified by name, for which Erlendur Svavarsson, who posted the track, deserves great credit.
Manny Albam was a fan of James Thurber’s work in general and, in particular, of what may be Thurber’s most famous New Yorker cartoon. If you weren’t around in 1934, or you don’t know about Dr. Millmoss, or the name James Thurber means nothing to you, click here.
A Spanish company has put both of Albam’s Jazz Greats recordings on CD. I haven’t heard the reissue and cannot comment on the remastering quality. The sound of the original Coral LPs was excellent.