Personnel: Joe Williams (vocals), Jerome Richardson, Phil Woods, Phil Bodner, Romeo Penque, Walt Levinsky, George Dorsey, Danny Banks, Robert Ashton (saxophone), Clark Terry, Bernie Glow, Thad Jones, Snooky Young (trumpet), Urbie Green, Quentin Jackson, Jimmy Cleveland (trombone), B. Leighton, Herbie Hancock, Hank Jones (piano), Kenny Burrell, Jim Hall (guitar), Milt Hinton, Wendell Marshall (bass), William Rodriguez, Sol Gubin, Osie Johnson (drums).
Reissue producer: John Snyder.
Recorded at Webster Hall, New York, in 1963. Originally released on RCA (LSP-2713). Includes liner notes by Gene Kalbacher.
Digitally remastered by Jay Newland (March 1, 1993, BMG Recording Studios, New York).
Here the classic singer is backed by a big band (and in some cases a smaller group from the orchestra) arranged by Oliver Nelson and Jimmy Jones. Doing his best to escape from the stereotype of being strictly a blues singer, Williams performs both superior standards and obscurities on the spirited LP. Highlights include "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams," "It's a Wonderful World," "Just A-Sittin' and A-Rockin'" and "Jump for Joy." Worth searching for. ~ Scott Yanow