The three recordings that make up this program were originally released on the Skylark and/or Tampa Records labels in the early to mid-1950s. . Skylark was the label that Bob Scherman used too release recordings between 1951 and 1955, when the label was collapsed into Tampa Records. The first set of recordings on this album consists of material that came out on Skylark in 1952 and Tampa in 1955, featuring The Lighthouse All Stars and Vivien Garry. "M.B.B." or More Big Boy is the first track, followed by a medley featuring Vivien Garry. The second recording was released on Skylark as "Jam Session 1" in 1952, and features a group credited to Maynard Ferguson, but probably originally under the leadership of violinist Paul Nero. The original 78 version of "Big Boy, Part 1 and 2" is included next, as this was the source for "M.B.B." The final recording on this program was also released on Skylark in 1952 and consists of material issued under the leadership of Charlie Shavers, accompanied by Tommy Dorsey bandmates (or alumni), probably recorded in late 1946 or early 1947. "Big Boy" and "M.B.B." were something of a hit for Skylark and Tampa Records. They have an interesting history which is well summarized in Jim Harrod's monograph that can be read at:
Vivien Garry was also an interesting personality. She was married to Dick Taylor (VSOP #131) and to Jimmy Giuffre at different times, and to at least five others, including Arv Garrison. She recorded a signficant number of other singles for Skylark and other labels, but is included here for her participation in the "Jam Session 2" release. While the original title of the album was "Jam Session 2", this is not really a jam session. All tracks were recorded at Capitol Records and edited together with live crowds. There are no extended solos but the "Big Boy" story and the fact that this is probably the first studio recording by the Lighthouse All Stars make this material quite significant. The Maynard Ferguson "Jam Session 1" material is lengthy and was actually recorded live, in contrast to the "Jam Session 2" sides. It is likely that originally the group was led by Paul Nero, but most releases on Skylark credit it to Maynard Ferguson. He had recently recorded Paul Nero's "Hot Canary" with Stan Kenton for Capitol, and was very much identified with that recording. There are nice solos by Paul Nero, Maynard Ferguson, Bob Cooper, Abe Most, Tony Rizzi and Paul Smith.
Charlie Shavers' date is probably from a bit earlier than the other sessions. All the sidemen were with Tommy Dorsey during late 1946 and early 1947. Pianist Bill Snyder had had a big hit with "Choppin' Up Chopin" in 1951, which may have prompted Bob Scherman to release this material on Skylark in 1952. Abe Most again delivers some fine clarinet work and may have been responsible for bringing this recording to Bob Scherman'S attention. Charlie Shavers' swinging of the classics is featured, as it was during his time with Tommy Dorsey. The selection devoted to James Petrillo, head of the musicians' union, also suggests that this was recorded during the late 1940's when his iron fisted control of recorded music gave rise to the 1942 and 1948 recording bans.