One of the most ambitious recordings ever from Bill Russo – the composer/
arranger who first rose to fame with Stan Kenton
, and who's working here in an even more modern extension of Kenton
ite ideals! Side one of the record features Russo's beautiful composition "The World Of Alcina" – a tune originally written as a jazz ballet, but which comes across here with the fluid tones and deep colors of some of the more serious jazz soundtracks from the time. The 18 minute piece features some especially great work on horns – played by a large brace of brass instruments used with the careful, sensitive styles that clearly show an influence from Kenton
. Side two features shorter tunes – most composed by Russo too, and played in ways that resonate more strongly with west coast small combo work of the time. There's a nice sense of counterpoint on most numbers, and a few tunes feature great interplay between Russo's valve trombone, Bill Porter's slide trombone, and the twin tenors of Sandy Mosse and Bill Trujillo – while others have a more open soloing style, with just Russo and Trujillo as the main horns. Rhythm is by Eddie Baker on piano, Israel Crosby on bass, and Mickey Simonetta on drums – and tracks include "For My Sister", "Under The Greenwood Tree", "L'Affair Bugs", "Bill's Blues", and "Speculum".
(Black label pressing with the "long playing unbreakable" logo and deep groove.)