With 80 minutes of recording time, this generous compilation of live performances catches the Italian Instabile Orchestra at some of its most extroverted moments, with plenty of opportunities for individual soloing. The CD is uniquely packaged and includes a stunning 123-page paperback book containing a series of essays, biographical information, and original pictures of members of Italy's premier jazz band. The Orchestra is a veritable who's who of that country's great jazz performers, featuring trombonists Giancarlo Schiaffini and Sebi Tramontana, saxophonists Mario Schiano and Gianluigi Trovesi, trumpeter Pino Minafra, percussionist Tiziano Tononi, and string bassist Bruno Tommaso, among others. While some of the soloists, such as Schiano and Schiaffini, flirt on the periphery of the avant-garde, the original compositions and arrangements are surprisingly tame, combining elements of indigenous folk song with humor and traditional big-band voicing. The results are refreshingly appealing, although the sound quality is not always up to par.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Loewy