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By the time of this 1986 concert at Estival Jazz, the collaboration between Ray Brown and Milt Jackson had already lasted for more than two decades. Here, they play together once again alongside the subtle brilliance of Cedar Walton on piano, the continuous infectious energy deployed by Mickey Roker on drums and the controlled power of Stanley Turrentine on tenor sax. All five musicians are to be found in halls of fame, and combined make for a candidate for best small swing ensemble.
Milt Jackson is front and center, and he creates moods on the vibraphone to begin most tracks, inviting the listener to indulge in the singular pleasure of his sound. Before long the others kick in and Ray Brown breathes character into the music through double bass playing that is always infused with deep soul and a sense for the blues. Towards the end of the concert Turrentine steps up on tenor and delivers dreamy soundscapes that must have sounded extra special to audiences in italy on that balmy summer's evening.