Guitarist Bruce Lofgren, whose solo style is fairly rockish, is a versatile arranger. His charts for his Los Angeles-based 17-piece orchestra often utilize tricky time signatures, are sometimes blues-oriented and swing while being contemporary, and are influenced to a degree by pop music. Other than the Beatles' "Here, There and Everywhere" and "All Blues," all of the selections on The Blues and Other Passions are by Lofgren. Some of the pieces are quite atmospheric and moody, particularly "Nightfall" (featuring tenor saxophonist Glen Berger) and "Yucca Flat"; the latter musically describes what it was like to live in downtown Hollywood. In addition to Berger and Lofgren, the other key soloists are trumpeter Ron King, trombonist Alan Ferber, and Mark Hollingsworth on soprano. Overall this is stimulating and occasionally unpredictable music, certainly not a typical big-band set.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow