Rob McConnell & the Boss Brass

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Virtually every release by Rob McConnell's Boss Brass is easily recommended to fans of straight-ahead and swinging big bands. Put out by the Canadian Innovation label, this release is a bit unusual in that five of the songs are by Latin American composers, two of which were arranged Jorge Calandrelli; in addition, the 22-piece orchestra plays "Easy to Love," "Autumn In New York," and "Bye Bye Blues." Although the material might be a bit different than usual, the band's distinctive sound is unchanged, and there is plenty of solo space for the usual top-notch players -- altoist Moe Koffman, guitarist Ed Bickert, flugelhornist Guido Basso, and Eugene Amaro on tenor. An interesting set that finds the big band showing a lot of flexibility.