The first trip to Japan by a group of all stars called the Concord Super Band, who wrapped up their 1978 tour with this recording, which documents their complete final concert in Tokyo. Youngsters Scott Hamilton (tenor sax) and Warren Vache (cornet and flugelhorn) are joined by a quartet of veterans: pianist Ross Tompkins, drummer Jake Hanna, guitarist Cal Collins, and bassist Monty Budwig. The full ensemble features include a snappy take of "I Would Do Anything for You," a lush treatment of "Blue and Sentimental," as well as a crowd-pleasing "Take the 'A' Train," which is highlighted by Hanna's marvelous drum solo. Hamilton's rhapsodic rendition of "Don't Blame Me" belies his years, while the outstanding duet by Vache and Collins of Louis Armstrong's theme song, "When It's Sleepy Time Down South," is a lyrical masterpiece. This two-record set has been unfortunately overlooked for reissue by Concord, though it should still be easy to acquire at a fairly reasonable price.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden