Fantastic work from two different years of this important German Jazz Festival – material that provides a great live complement to some of the best studio jazz recordings of the late 60s European scene – such as those coming from the MPS label, and some of the record companies in Paris and London! The vibe here is mostly straight, but there are plenty of currents of modern, and maybe just a bit of free – and the set's especially great in illustrating the sort of unique groupings and musical moments that can make the jazz festival scene so rewarding! Material from 1967 includes three long tracks by the group of saxophonist Klaus Doldinger with organist Ingfried Hoffmann; a long performance from a big band led by Kurt Edelhagen, with work from trumpeters Shake Keane and Jimmy Deuchar, tenorists Wilton Gaynair and Karl Drewo, and altoist Derek Humble; four tracks by a quartet led by trumpeter Dusko Goykovich, with Bent Jaedig on tenor; two long improvisations from a group that features Manfred Schoof on trumpet, Gerd Dudek on tenor, Alexander Von Schlippenbach on piano, and Jaki Liebezeit on drums; one track by a quartet with Ted Curson on trumpet and Nick Bridnola on soprano sax; four long cuts by the Clarke Boland Sextet, with Sahib Shihab on flute and baritone, Ake Persson on trombone, and Idrees Sulieman on trumpet; a sweet large group led by organist Ingfried Hoffmann, and a few other hip cuts too. 1968 features work by a sextet led by bassist Peter Trunk, with Shake Keane on flugelhorn, Jiggs Whigham on trombone, and Rob Pronk on piano; four tracks by the Clarke Boland Big Band, with Johnny Griffin and Ronnie Scott on tenor, and Sahib Shihab on baritone; two cuts by the twin tenor group of Hank Mobley
and Johnny Griffin; a vocal performance by Jon Hendricks with a Clarke Boland group with Johnny Griffin in the lead; twin trombones from the Slide Hampton and Ake Persson Quintet; hip work from the trio of pianist George Gruntz, bassist Henri Texier, and drummer Daniel Humair; a number of tight tracks from the Maynard Ferguson big band, with Pete King on tenor; and two shorter trio tracks from Joachim Kuhn. Like other Be Music titles, the presentation is great – a really well-done box, and big booklet of notes and images.