This release was spawned from the same April/May 2001 sessions that were the source of Ben Grisafi's Big Band's previous release, Plays Swing, Sweet and Sentimental. This means that the massive changeover in the band's personnel made for that latter session remains pretty much intact. It also means that the softer, gentler approach taken by this Long Island aggregation continues to influence their performing. This CD is made more for dancing, while earlier ones had that Les Brown concert feel about them. The music here is smoother, less raucous, but melodic and romantic. But the basic elements of the Grisafi sound remain intact. The sections are disciplined, but liberated enough to add some dash to the music, no doubt encouraged by Grisafi's arrangements. Putting it more to the point, the ensemble work is terrific. But Grisafi knows the value of allowing his very good instrumentalists, many of them veterans of the famous big bands of yore, to display their special knowledge of this music on their individual instruments. Thus listeners hear excellent solos not only from the leader's tenor, but from Carl Fischer and Chuck Genduso on trumpet and Frank Vaccaro on trombone. The piece de resistance when it comes to soloing as always comes with the vocalizing of Denise Richards. The play list, as usual, is dominated by those classic tunes which made big band music one of the most well-liked in the history of pop music in the social history of the country. Armed with fresh arrangements, Ben Grisafi's outfit keeps the genre not only alive, but healthy as well. Recommended.
AllMusic Review by Dave Nathan