Clarinet Summit was comprised of four diverse clarinetists: Duke Ellington alumnus Jimmy Hamilton, the adventurous Alvin Batiste, leading avant-gardist John Carter, and David Murray (normally a tenor), who kept the bottom strong with his bass clarinet. In 1984, the quartet performed at the Public Theater without a rhythm section, and the result was two LPs released by India Navigation. In 1991 the label combined all of the selections (except for a brief "Satin Doll") on a single 73-minute CD. The music ranges from brief swing numbers for Hamilton and a Murray showcase on "Sweet Lovely" to some wild group improvisations, including "Solo and Ballad for Four Clarinets" and the 17-minute "Clariflavors." This very interesting, if sometimes abrasive music was extended four years later with a reunion of the group for a studio date (released on Black Saint).
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow