I bought this sometime in 2005, loved it, but decided not to review it because right on the sleeve (it's a cardboard package with the cd slipped inside a fuzzy little envelope like the Sam Rivers - Crystals package, not a jewel case) it says it's a limited release that goes out-of-print in september of 2005. I just figured there's no point in reviewing it since the review would effectively die in several months. Now here we are in 2006 and it's still available.
The band is Gerry Mulligan on baritone sax and piano. Mel Lewis drums. Bill Crow bass. Nick Travis, Clark Terry, Don Ferrara trumpets. Bob Brookmeyer, Willie Dennis, Alan Ralph trombones. Gene Quill clarinet and alto saxophone. Bob Donovan alto. Jim Reider tenor saxophone. Gene Allen baritone saxophone and bass clarinet.
Who knows how much longer this will be around. If you think you might want it, GET IT. This band is amazing and the sound of the recording is fantastic! I like the couple slower tunes too, quite lovely interpretations of these tunes, but the uptempo stuff is the heart and soul of this album. There's not a single note I'd want to change here and the intensity is really something to behold. This band swings ruthlessly and the soloing is impeccable.
Even if you're not what you'd call a "big-band person", don't let that stop you. Glenn Miller this is not! Then again if you have high blood-pressure or arthritis you may want to take your medicine before popping this into the player because your heart-rate will rise and you're going to be moving. This is one of my favorite cds I bought in all of 2005 and from my first listen last year to my most recent listen yesterday, I've been in envy of everyone who ever attended a concert by this band on one of their good nights. I assume this was a phenomenal night because this thing knocks me out from the first track to the last, but if they were even better than this, and if that stuff was recorded, then please some label, any label, release or re-release all those albums because my soul and wallet are waiting.