After a riot in 1971 effectively killed the Newport Jazz Festival, producer George Wein successfully relocated the festival the following year to New York where it has resided ever since. A series of all-star jam sessions were staged at Radio City Music Hall and many of the highlights were released on two two-LP sets, the first four volumes in this Cobblestone series. This particular two-fer has three jazz standards and a blues all given lengthy (16-23 minutes apiece) treatment by two different groups. The first band features trumpeters Cat Anderson and Jimmy Owens, altoist Charles McPherson, Buddy Tate on tenor, organist Milt Buckner, pianist Roland Hanna, bassist Charles Mingus and drummer Alan Dawson. Everyone is in fine form and it is a pleasure to hear Anderson screaming over the ensembles. The second group is headed by trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and also includes trombonist Benny Green, Stan Getz on tenor, vibraphonist Milt Jackson, violinist John Blair, guitarist Kenny Burrell, pianist Mary Lou Williams, bassist Percy Heath, drummer Max Roach and Big Black on congas. Despite the length of the performances, one's interest is held throughout and this two-fer (along with the following one) is easily recommended to fans of straightahead jazz.
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