In addition to having a somewhat immodest title, this three-CD set was not actually one single concert but two. That reservation aside, the music on the reissue is often quite special. There is a jam session in the Jazz at the Philharmonic
vein with flügelhornist Clark Terry, altoist Benny Carter, the tenors of Zoot Sims, and Paul Gonsalves and the Oscar Peterson Trio with the all-stars playing a ballad medley and heated run-throughs of a few familiar standards. In addition, the Oscar Peterson Trio
has a few features, an aging Coleman Hawkins does what he can on two numbers, Hawk teams up with altoists Benny Carter and Johnny Hodges on "C Jam Blues," and special guest T-Bone Walker
sings and plays a couple of blues with assists from Terry, Gonsalves, Hodges, and Peterson. But that's not all. The Duke Ellington Orchestra is in prime form performing a great deal of new material, plus having guest spots for Sims (along with fellow tenors Gonsalves and Jimmy Hamilton
on "Very Tenor"), Oscar Peterson (who gets to lead the band through a unique version of "Take the 'A' Train") and Carter; Johnny Hodges is also well-showcased. Ella Fitzgerald
completes the memorable set with her usual classy performance (accompanied by the Jimmy Jones Trio
and sometimes the Ellington Orchestra), finishing the show with some hot scatting on "Cotton Tail." Maybe this really was "the Greatest Jazz Concert" after all.