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Dave Brubeck Quartet and Bill Smith at the Earshot Jazz Festival

Tribute concerts are often laden with rosters of talented musicians yet turn into all-star clambakes due to any number of glitches from poor pacing to incompatible groupings. Thanks to intelligent planning by producer/bassist Jay Leonhart, this tribute to pianist John Bunch avoided these pitfalls and turned out to be one of the best of its kind in recent memory and beyond.

As might be expected, pianists abounded to pay their respects to Bunch and the age range was altogether inclusive. The bassists were Leonhart (also an exemplary emcee) and Ron Carter; Mickey Roker and Joe Cocuzzo were on drums; guitarists Bucky Pizzarelli and Russell Malone were also on hand; and playing horns were Joe Wilder on trumpet and Harry Allen on tenor.

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