During 1981-1985, the Cincinnati-based Blue Wisp Big Band recorded four albums for the Mopro label; all of the music has since been reissued on a pair of Sea Breeze CDs. This first disc features the straight-ahead orchestra in excellent form on a mixture of standards and originals. Best known among the soloists is trumpeter Tim Hagans (who is on the second date), but also impressive are trumpeter Al Kiger, baritonist Larry Dickson, pianist Steve Schmidt, and tenors Herb Aronoff and Joe Gaudio. Actually, the musicianship throughout the big band is impressive, and fans of conventional jazz orchestras will enjoy both of the Blue Wisp's discs. Among the highlights on this reissue are "Love for Sale" and Oscar Pettiford's "Tricrotism," "I Won't Dance," Thelonious Monk's "Evidence," and "The Bull and a Big Band."
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow