This unreleased EP by Hap Snow’s Whirlwinds highlights the sweet saxophone sounds of Harry Lewis between 1958 and 1959. The first track, “Where’s Harry?” was written by Lewis and recorded live at Williams College in Massachusetts in 1958.
“Blue Moon,” the Richard Rodgers’ standard, also features Lewis, this time at a concert at Middlebury College in Vermont the next year. An early version of “Chop It,” the final track, was written by James K. “Hap” Snow and features Lewis at a home studio recording session in Weston, Massachusetts in 1959.
Besides Lewis on sax and Snow on lead guitar, Art Bearon played piano and Stefano Torossi manned the drums. The four Whirlwinds met at Williams College, forming the band in spring 1958. Although both Snow and Torossi graduated that semester, the band continued to hone their skills playing gigs at college campuses in the area the next fall and through 1959 and 1960.
This was possible because Bearon and Lewis were still at Williams and Torossi returned from his native Italy to enroll at graduate school at Brandeis University in fall 1958. Snow also attended graduate school for a time before deciding to put greater focus on music. His efforts culminated with the band’s trips to Ace Recording Studios in 1959 and 1960.
Stay tuned for the The Chop It Sessions EP, which contains the finished version of “Chop It,” including a skit by the band, as well as two alternate versions and one bonus track.
A video for Hap Snow’s Whirlwinds’ “Where’s Harry?,” composed by Harry Lewis, is on YouTube: