This CD documents one of the first concerts by Gene Harris' star-studded big band, an orchestra heard at the beginning of an 80-day world tour. Unlike his earlier big band Basie tribute album, Harris is not the only musician to get significant solo space on this set although, due to the overflowing lineup, not enough is heard from everyone. The straightforward arrangements (by John Clayton, Frank Wess, Torrie Zito, Bob Pronk and Lex Jasper) balance swingers with ballads. Among the more memorable tracks are Harry "Sweets" Edison's feature (both muted and open) on "Sleepy Time Down South," a pair of fine vocals apiece by Ernie Andrews and Ernestine Anderson, the roaring "Old Man River" and Harris' interpretation of Erroll Garner's ballad "Creme de Menthe." Toss in short solos from the likes of Ralph Moore, James Morrison (on trombone), Frank Wess, Michael Mossman and baritonist Gary Smulyan and the result is a satisfying, swinging and fairly fresh big band date.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow