Various Artists

RCA Victor 80th Anniversary, Vol. 6: 1970-1979

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The sixth of eight reissue CDs (available individually or as an eight-CD box set), covers RCA's occasional jazz ventures of the 1970s. There are big band performances by the Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Orchestra, Woody Herman (a reunion version of "Four Brothers"), Buddy Rich, Doc Severinsen (a weak effort) and the electrified Gil Evans Orchestra. In addition, there are vocal numbers from Nina Simone, Cleo Laine and Louis Armstrong (his second version of "What a Wonderful World") and funky outings from the Brecker Brothers and Lonnie Liston Smith. The fusion that is included (such as it is) is weak; the avant-garde is not represented, and overall this release makes the 1970s look weaker than it was. RCA was just not "with it" during the period.

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