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Umbria Jazz

Umbria Jazz 1992

One of the leading lights of many previous Umbria Jazz Festivals, Miles Davis, had also passed away. A superband comprising four-fifths of what had previously been one of Miles’ greatest quintets, played in his memory: Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, Tony Williams, with Wallace Roney – Miles Davis’ most loyal follower – on trumpet. Their concert was a truly emotional affair, although the music was less so. However, the two real stars of that year’s Umbria Jazz were: Max Roach, the great drummer and a leading light of black music since the days of Charlie Parker, with his “To The Max!” project featuring a nineteen-member choir, the Uptown Strings Quartet and the group M’Boome; and Carla Bley and her big band, whose task it was to keep up the wonderful orchestral displays that had become a tradition at Perugia’s church of St. Francis.

The superband played a series of great concerts which more than made up for the American band leader’s negative memories of the 1978 Festival in Castiglion del Lago. The 1992 Umbria Jazz Festival also featured, among others, the Kronos Quartet and the soprano sax of Steve Lacy, a homage to another great jazz musician who had recently passed away, Dizzy Gillespie (featuring Red Rodney, Freddie Hubbard, Claudio Roditi and James Moody), and another major debut at Umbria Jazz, that of Chick Corea.