First set up as a festival for Swiss amateur jazz musicians, by 1970 the Zurich Jazz Festival had grown into a unique comingling of top international amateur and professional groups encompassing virtually every form of the music, from traditional jazz to the Avant-guard. MPS recorded the highlights of that 1970 festival with such success that they came back for the 1971 edition. The first three pieces are devoted to the winners of the amateur competition. The Danish trad Fessors Big City Band plays in an infectious Chicago-style on Chief Monteur Joys, while on Percenta Pro Hnizdovku, the Czech Jazz Q Praha is fiery and fusion-oriented, and the Swiss-based Kaleidoscope gets down and funky on the blues-laced Brother Where Are You. The following four professional bands highlight a diversity of styles. Famous for his work with King Oliver, Armstrong, and Morton, clarinet legend Albert Nicholas and his Harlem Ramblers personify the undying majesty of New Orleans music on the classic Basin Street Blues. Already a star in the 60’s British rock scene, Brian Auger worked with names ranging from Rod Stewart to Tony Williams. Auger’s Oblivion Express straddles pop, rock and jazz on Just Me Just You. With a mix of top-notch European and US jazzmen, the Kurt Edelhagen Orchestra was one of the leading big bands of the era. The hip arrangement on Rockin’ Chair adds a touch of free jazz to this fusion-oriented piece. Led by guest trumpet great Maynard Ferguson, the Big Band of the German-Swiss Radio Light Orchestra offers up Geller’s Cellar, a sophisticatedly arranged blues with some outstanding solos. The next three cuts are “workshop” bands put together by Swiss maestro George Gruntz. The Parker/Gillespie jazz classic Anthropology features an extravaganza of trumpet greats, with solos by Franco Ambrozetti, Benny Bailey, Dusko Goykovich, and Art Farmer in that order. The trombone tour de force Ice Nine features Albert Mangelsdorff, Akke Persson, Slide Hampton and Jiggs Whigham. Dedicated to bebop drum innovator Kenny Clarke, the impressive 23-minute Age of Prominence features some great solos and two tenor sax legends. the solo order: Don Byas (ts), Dusko Goykovich (tp), Gorge Grunz (e-piano), Dexter Gordon (ts), Franco Ambrosetti (tp), Heinz Bigler (as), and Isla Eckinger (b). This wide-ranging festival format was unique to Zurich. What a pleasure that it still exists on record!