2008 release of this '60s recording by the American Jazz drummer Kenny Clarke and Belgian pianist Francy Boland, leading one of the finest Jazz ensembles ever assembled outside of the U.S. Had it not been for the post-war migration of many top American Jazz musicians to Europe, it is quite likely that the legendary Clarke-Boland Big Band might never have come into existence. As it happened, when Gigi Campi set up the first Big Band record date in Cologne in 1961, he was able to call upon such distinguished self-exiled Jazz stars as Benny Bailey (originally from Cleveland, Ohio), Sahib Shihab (Savannah, Georgia), Jimmy Woode (Boston, Massachusetts) and, of course, Kenny Clarke (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).
This is a reissue of a recording from 1993 (re-released a few years ago and deleted in 2003), recently remastered for SACD, and it really impresses with a renewed presence and impact, even on standard CD playback. As I said in my original review, Savall's reading "comes as close as these things can to placing us in the best seat in the house and treats us to a rare experience: the sensation of believing we're hearing a ruggedly familiar piece for the first time. Literally bursting with energy, scintillating strings, blazing horns, and incisive winds, and never boring even for one second, these performances give you Handel at his most exciting." If you have the earlier release, you probably don't need this one–unless you now own an SACD system–but it does deserve a place in every Handel collection, not only for the unsurpassed performances, but also for the effect of Savall's several decidedly "non-standard" tempos(!), and of course for the phenomenal sound, which now must have reached its ultimate realism in this format.