Formed in 1972 by the four most influential Swiss jazz musicians of the period, saxophonist Flavio Ambrozetti, son trumpeter Franco, drummer Daniel Hummair, and band arranger/director, pianist George Gruntz, this 19-member orchestra was a unique mix of international all-stars. With inspired, cutting-edge compositions and an input of new blood with each new outing, what became known as The Concert Jazz Band marched at the forefront of international big bands. MPS recorded the first four albums of this historic group, which by 1978 was solely in the hands of Gruntz. Daniel Humair’s hallucinogenic Triple Hip Trip begins with American Howard Johnson on bass sax and Gruntz on synth, before moving into the theme in 6/8. Brit tenor giant Alan Skidmore and the USA’s Benny Baily take solo honors. Written in memory of Swedish trombone great Ake Persson, the somber Epitaph for a Friend features the composer, Franco Ambrosetti’s poignant flugelhorn solo, followed by American sax master Charlie Mariano on soprano and Mingus band member trombonist Jimmy Knepper. The open-ended free-for-all Nix Tango Time features Dom Um Romeo’s amazing ‘talking’ percussion and Howard Johnson’s equally vocal tuba blues solo. Flavio Ambrozetti’s Alpen Honky-Fonk testifies that you can get can get downright down and dirty in those mountains as Franco’s trumpet fills the Alpine air with funk. The forceful El Commendador features Palle Mikkelborg on flugelhorn, composer Flavio on soprano, and Eddie Daniels on flute. Gruntz’s The Mazurka combines the lively Polish triple meter folk dance with rock, contemporary jazz, and a taste of India and Mariano’s mesmerizing solo on the North Indian double reed instrument, the Nagaswaram. American Gillespie protégé, trumpeter John Faddis has the last say with a flashy solo. Another very special album of creative magic performed by George Gruntz and Co.