Various Artists

In Performance at the Playboy Jazz Festival

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The Playboy Jazz Festival was established as a yearly institution in Los Angeles in 1979. This double LP, the only recordings thus far to emanate from the marathon two-day festival, has some of the highlights from the 1982 edition. "Pieces of a Dream" (tackling "Take the 'A' Train" and "Pop Rock") are in above average form and Grover Washington, Jr., pleases the crowd with "Winelight." Tenor-great Dexter Gordon (in a quintet with trumpeter Woody Shaw) performs a pair of fine numbers, Weather Report romps on "Volcano for Hire" and is joined by Manhattan Transfer for a smoldering version of "Birdland." The Art Farmer/Bennie Golson Quintet is fine on five numbers although Nancy Wilson (who guests) is out-of-place. This two-fer concludes with three performances from an all-star quartet comprised of trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Elvin Jones. It is surprising that this well-rounded set has not yet been reissued on CD.