George Gruntz / George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band / George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band '83


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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow

The unusual Theatre is nearly as much theater and performance art as it is jazz. The music is frequently dramatic, featuring the vocals of Sheila Jordan on two of the four works. "El Chancho" is a showcase for the bandoneon of Dino Saluzzi, while the 25-minute "The Holy Grail of Jazz and Joy" has portrayals of the Knights of the Round Table with short spots for many of the musicians in the all-star group. Slightly more conventional are "In the Tradition of Switzerland" (even if it has a spot for Seppo "Baron" Paakkunainen on a Finnish birch bark flute) and "No One Can Explain It" (though Jordan's vocal is otherworldly). There are solo spots along the way for avant-garde altoist and soprano saxophonist Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky, trombonists Dave Bargeron, bass trombonist David Taylor, and trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg. However the music overall is for selective tastes and it never really seems to flow, making it of limited interest.

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