In 1968, trombonist Mike Barone had a rehearsal band comprised mostly of Los Angeles-based studio musicians who occasionally played for the fun of it at the legendary Donte's. The music on this CD was privately taped (the recording quality is excellent) and not released for the first time until 30 years later. Barone wrote most of the arrangements and the lineup of soloists includes altoist Med Flory (the future leader of Supersax); pianist Mike Wofford; trumpeter Steve Huffsteter; and the tenors of Bill Hood, Lou Ciotti, and (on "Juss Messin' Around") the young Tom Scott. The music is essentially swinging hard bop, even such unlikely material as "T" and "The Non-Viennese Waltz Blues." This is a valuable piece of otherwise long-lost musical history that has fortunately been saved by the V.S.O.P. label.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow