Various Artists

Jazz Jamboree '70

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This live bootleg gives the appearance of featuring the Dave Brubeck Quartet with Gerry Mulligan exclusively by its title, though the photo is of Brubeck's earlier group with Paul Desmond, Eugene Wright, and Joe Morello. It's actually a compilation of several different groups recorded during a 1970 festival in Poland (likely Warsaw). Brubeck and Mulligan are joined by bassist Jack Six and drummer Alan Dawson for their two tracks, which include a spirited rendition of Mulligan's "Jumping Bean" and an extended "St. Louis Blues" that proves to be rather humorous, especially with the baritone saxophonist's detour into "I Let a Song Go out of Heart." Reedman Paquito D'Rivera and pianist Chucho Valdes (along with at least two other members of Irakere) lead a quintet in the powerful "Missa Negra." D'Rivera starts and finishes on flute, switches to soprano sax for his intense solo, while Valdes' strong piano makes up for his somewhat meandering theme. The remaining tracks by obscure European groups are far less successful. Alto saxophonist Theo Loevendie leads a forgettable septet through his chaotic "Jonathan." The works by valve trombonist Andrzej Kurlewicz are no better; their final track adds an unnamed vocalist who does a strange medley in tribute to Billie Holiday, which features the singer narrating her tragic story, then singing brief excerpts (in passable English) of some of her most famous recordings. The lack of liner notes and incorrect instrument listings (D'Rivera is listed as playing alto sax instead of soprano and clarinet, which aren't present at all) is frustrating. Even though this CD seems to come from a broadcast or soundboard source, it is over-modulated in numerous places. Unless one is an obsessive collector of Dave Brubeck and Gerry Mulligan, there is no reason to bother looking for the deservedly obscure release.

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