Ernie Krivda has achieved a reputation as a strikingly original and adventurous tenor saxophonist whose phrasing is often staccato-ish and whose solos are full of extroverted emotions. While he has recorded some standards during the past 20 years, he tends to make them sound quite fresh and new. This CD, therefore, is a major surprise. Krivda is heard at the head of a conventional 19-piece big band which swings its way through such tunes as "In a Mellotone," "Leave Us Leap" (a hit for Gene Krupa in 1945), "Deed I Do" And Quincy Jones' "Jessica's Day." The dozen arrangements are by Thad Jones, Bob Florence, Oliver Nelson, Al Cohn, Quincy Jones, Marty Paich, Ed Finckel, Grady Tate, Bill Holman and Ernie Wilkins, and the playing is very much in the mainstream big band tradition. There are no hints of Krivda's adventurous past so the project instead serves as an opportunity to hear how well he can play in the older style. Many of the sidemen have opportunities to solo and, although the personnel is mostly obscure (best-known among the other players is trumpeter Brad Goode), the musicianship is excellent and the ensembles are consistently exciting. The leader (who is showcased on "We'll Be Together Again" and has a liberal amount of solos elsewhere) plays more conservative than usual but still sounds fairly distinctive. Easily recommended to fans of swinging big bands.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow