Saxophonist Gordon Goodwin (heard on this CD on alto and soprano) has loved big bands since he was a child.
He arranged all of the music for his 18-piece big band's release, contributing nine of the ten compositions (all but Bach's "Two Part Invention in D Minor") and getting several notable guest soloists to make appearances.
The music is mostly modern mainstream, swinging while utilizing some advanced harmonies. There are a few departures including "Sing Sang Sung" (a number based a bit on "Sing Sing Sing"), the Bach selection, a couple Latin jazz pieces, and the funky "There's the Rub" and "A Few Good Men." Among the main soloists from the orchestra are Goodwin, trombonist Andy Martin, pianist Tom Ranier, and tenorman Dan Higgins.
The guests (on two songs apiece) are trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, clarinetist Eddie Daniels, and altoists Eric Marienthal and Brandon Fields. Fans of contemporary big bands will find much to enjoy on this fun set.
Scott Yanow ~ AllMusicGuide
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