The next “pause for thought” lasted all of three years, but this was enough to transform the face of the festival. In fact, on the one hand Italy itself had changed in the intervening period, and on the other hand, Umbria Jazz had been transformed. The days of the exclusively free-of-charge, itinerant concerts held in theatres and clubs were now over, with the main events now being held provisionally in a large marquee set up next to the football stadium, and music spread out right through the day. Only some of the concerts remained free of charge, and continued to be held in the centre of Perugia.
While the collector David Chertok recounted the history of jazz in his wonderful films, that year was marked by the discovery and debut of a jazz singer who was to go on to greater things, Bobby McFerrin, brought over by the group led by saxophonist Chico Freeman. Then there was Jackie McLean, the super-quintet featuring Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Kenny Barron, Ron Carter and Tony Williams, the great Machito, the bluesman B.B. King, and the quartet formed by Charlie Rouse, John Hicks, Walter Booker and Ben Riley, paying homage to the recently deceased Thelonius Monk. Then there were numerous Italian musicians, including Massimo Urbani and Franco D’Andrea.