Excellent album and a novel idea to boot ! Dave O'Higgins and Pete Wraight got together to agree on some themes for their big band album and that was where their writing colaboration ended. They both went their separate ways and wrote pieces based on the agreed themes. The results are never less than interesting and the execution from the musicians is excellent. O'Higgins, as you would expect, has writtien pieces in the tried and trusted jazz tradition with head-solos-head arrangements. Wraight however shows his compositional skills,honed over the years in TV and Film, to create atmosphere and mood without the tradional jazz solos you would expect.
They both use exactly the same musicians but with quite different results. Take the openers "New Orleans"; Wraight creates a hot, sultry atmospheric piece without solos, whereas O'Higgins makes good use of a second line drum beat to create a more traditional new Orleans jazz piece (Altoist Sammy Mayne produces the best solo of the whole album on thsi piece).
And there you have the basic principal which repeats itself throughout the album.
This is fun, creative,thought provoking music that improves with repeated and concentrated listening.