Various Artists

Fujitsu-Concord 26th Jazz Festival

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Recorded at the 26th-annual Concord Jazz Festival, this two-CD set features music from three different performances. The first disc has a well-rounded set with guitarist Charlie Byrd, Hendrik Meurkens on harmonica, clarinetist Ken Peplowski and a fine rhythm section paying tribute to the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim. A group billed as "Seven Sensational Saxophones" is good but not all that sensational with four altos being featured on two songs, four tenors on two others and six of the saxes soloing on "Tryin' to Make My Blues Turn Green"; the horns are altoists Jesse Davis, Gary Foster, tenors Ken Peplowski, Chris Potter and Frank Wess, Bill Ramsay on alto and baritone and Rickey Woodard doubling on tenor and alto. The remainder of this two-fer has eight numbers from what was dubbed "the Gene Harris/Rob McConnell/Frank Wess Concord Jazz All-Star Big Band." The three leaders are the main soloists and Jeannie Cheatham takes a couple of spirited guest vocals. Overall, this set should easily please fans of Concord's usual mainstream output.

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