British trombonist Mark Nightingale is featured with the RIAS Big Band, conducted by Jiggs Whigham, on these 1996 sessions. Nightingale, who was still a promising young virtuoso of 30 at the time of the recordings, displays tremendous chops on his instrument throughout the disc. The program includes a bevy of standards and classic jazz compositions, with creative specially requested charts by Bill Holman ("I'm Old Fashioned"), Duncan Lamont ("My Foolish Heart" and "Solitude"), Allan Ganley ("The Song Is You" and "Whisper Not"), and Steve Gray ("What Is This Thing Called Love?"). Nightingale also wrote and arranged two originals for these sessions: the upbeat, swinging "Don't Mention the Blues" and the lush ballad "Destiny." This excellent CD on the somewhat erratically distributed German label Mons is well worth acquiring.
by Ken Dryden