Panama Francis & The Savoy Sultans – Live at Park Avenue Plaza



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. This recording from 1993 is an example of live performances by the band at a show at Park Avenue Plaza, in New York City, and features a mixture of young generals and swing legends alike. Featured are Brian “Lord” Sledge, Joey “G-Clef” Cavaseno, Harry Allen, Zaid Nasser, Wally Richardson, Julia Steele, Leonard Gaskin, and others.

1. Song of the Islands
2. Stitches
3. Speak Low
4. Undecided
5. Take the A Train
6. Stompin’ at the Savoy
7. I’ve Got the World on a String
8. Tea for Two
9. In the Mood
10. Looney
11. Spanish Town
12. I Got it Bad and That Ain’t Good
13. Rhythm Dr. Man
14. All Too Soon (incomplete)


Drums/Leader- Panama Francis
trumpet- Brian “Lord” Sledge, Kenny Rampton
alto sax- Joey “G-Clef” Cavaseno, Zaid Nasser
tenor sax- Harry Allen
guitar- Wally Richardson
piano- John Miller
bass- Leonard Gaskin
vocals- Julia Steele

Additional information

Weight .25 oz
Dimensions 5 × 6 × .5 in
Media Type

mp3, CD


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