Ronald Shannon Jackson

Montreux Jazz Festival

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AllMusic Review by

Another fiery set from the Decoding Society, this one from July of 1983. Song selection is almost evenly split between Mandance and Barbeque Dog. Vernon Reid is featured on banjo on several cuts, including the lovely "Iola," where he does some nice trading off with bassist Bruce Johnson. The rest of the set is fairly explosive, highlighted by "Alice in the Congo," a lengthier track that touches on other tunes (like "Small World") and gives the players a bit more room to solo. The playing of both Zane Massey on saxes and Henry Scott on trumpet should not go unmentioned, as they receive the bulk of the solo spotlight and really take advantage, sending their solos into the stratosphere. In addition to his banjo playing, Reid gets a chance to burn on electric guitar on both "Gossip" and "Alice in the Congo" (where the band slides into a very straight blues for a short time). Montreux Jazz Festival is a fine live document of what is arguably the strongest version of the Decoding Society.

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