The Jazz Jamaica Allstars, founded and led by bassist Gary Crosby, is a powerful British big band that pays tribute to Crosby's roots in Jamaica. The orchestra utilizes reggae and other rhythms from Jamaica along with advanced post-bop solos on top of the spirited ensembles. Juliet Roberts has three lightweight pop vocals but otherwise the music is pretty jazz-oriented. No less than 20 of the sidemen have solo space including saxophonist Andy Sheppard, vibraphonist Orphy Robinson and trumpeter Guy Barker, but it is the unusual sound of the ensembles that really stands out. Think of it as a safer version of the Brotherhood of Breath mixed in with the Mingus Big Band and one gets an idea about this group's potential. Well-worth checking out.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow