Various Artists

Birmingham Jazz Festival, Vol. 2

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The second of three volumes of previously unreleased music from the 1960 Birmingham Jazz Festival features four different groups. The first three numbers put the focus on the short-lived vibraphonist Lem Winchester, who shows that he could have been one of the best if he had enjoyed a longer life; he is backed by a trio that includes pianist Junior Mance. Pianist Bess Bonnier fares well on "Indiana" and Nick Fiore's "Drum Suite," while pianist Johnny Griffith digs into Bud Powell's "Celia." The obscure violinist Joe Kennedy (who seems to emerge every five years or so) is in top form on three numbers, welcoming Toots Thielemans on guitar for "Two Different Worlds." Although a bit of a mixed bag, the music is consistently rewarding throughout these straight-ahead performances.

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