George Gruntz

25 Years

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To celebrate their 25th anniversary, the George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band is featured throughout this CD on what is called "The World's Greatest Unknown Hits." The ten previously unreleased selections are each taken from different concerts, and there are plenty of colorful and rambunctious solos, along with a strong dose of humor. There are spots for the electrified trumpet of Palle Mikkelborg, altoist Chris Hunter, trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, pianist/leader George Gruntz (showcased on a medley of "Kinda Gruntzy" and "Rockin' in Rhythm"), trombonists Jimmy Knepper and Dave Taylor, Joe Daley on euphonium, singer Sheila Jordan (on two odd numbers), French horn player John Clark (who romps on Horace Silver's "Room 608"), altoist Tim Berne, and trombonist Ray Anderson, among others. Gruntz has long focused on originals by bandmembers, doing all of the arranging himself, so other than the encores, this colorful set is a bit unusual, since it has renditions of "Rockin' in Rhythm," "The Preacher," and even "The Yellow Rose of Texas." These performances, far from mere leftovers, are quite enjoyable and add new light to the Concert Jazz Band's growing legacy.

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