Phil Woods' recordings with his short-lived European Rhythm Machine are among the most adventurous of his career, though few of them have been available in the CD era. This 1969 concert at the Montreux Jazz Festival features the alto saxophonist with pianist George Gruntz, bassist Henri Texier and drummer Daniel Humair in a wide ranging set. Gruntz's "Capricci Cavaleschi" begins with slash-and-burn solos by both Woods and Gruntz before giving way to Texier's soft solo, which is backed by Humair's hand drumming. Liner note writer Leonard Feather's bluesy tribute to Charlie Parker, "I Remember Bird," is revisited by Woods with gusto. Carla Bley's samba-flavored "Ad Infinitum" is especially appealing, while a blazing (though brief) run through Herbie Hancock's "Riot," features the leader's almost screaming sax (backed initially only by Humair) closes the set with a flourish. Long unavailable, this rewarding album was finally reissued on CD in the summer of 2003.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden