This radio broadcast of a 1982 Montreux Jazz Festival set featuring the Dave Brubeck Quartet has been issued by a number of different European bootleg labels, all with excellent sound but one glaring error: labeling the pianist's "(Open the Gates) Out of the Way of the People" as "Improvisation." In spite of its sketchy origin, this CD contains an excellent, well-recorded set of music, featuring clarinetist Bill Smith in one of his earliest appearances as a full-time member of the group in the early '80s after he replaced tenor saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi. Brubeck is clearly inspired by his reunion with his old friend (who was a part of the pianist's early octet and also took Paul Desmond's place on a pair of Brubeck albums decades earlier). Brubeck and company devour his challenging blues "Tritonis," following it with his haunting, beautiful Oriental blues "Koto Song," in which Smith utilizes his digital delay to good effect. Chris Brubeck shows off his tremendous chops on bass trombone in both "Big Bad Basie" and "(What Did I Do to Be So) Black and Blue?." Drummer Randy Jones, who would go on to become the longest continuously serving sideman in the history of the Dave Brubeck Quartet, is showcased extensively in "Out of the Way of the People." The inevitable requests for "Take Five" and "Blue Rondo a la Turk" are obvious crowd pleasers.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden