Toward the end of his life, veteran drum legend Panama Francis led a "reboot" of the by then extinct "little Big Band" named the Savoy Sultans. Originally led by Al Cooper, the Savoy Sultans were known for kicking butt at the Savoy Ballroom in New York City, even when set against larger musical aggregations. The dancers and listeners alike loved them for their plaintive, hard-driving rhythmic style, so urgently riff-heavy, they might swing you into bad health! Jazz promoter George Wein helped Panama Francis take up the task of recreating the great sound of this classic American band in the 1980s, but Francis kept on keeping the band afloat, even after a long tenure at the Rainbow Room.
These recordings from 1993 are an example of a live performance by the band in New York City, and features a mixture of young generals and swing legends alike. This concert/dance celebrates Francis' seventy-fifth birthday (his actual birthday was on the 26th). Featured are Brian "Lord" Sledge, Joey "G-Clef" Cavaseno, Irvin Stokes, Harry Allen, Lawrence Lucie, Julia Steele, Leonard Gaskin, and others.