Big band, that rare and especially challenging and wonderfully rewarding form of jazz, gets a grand shot in the arm with this outing from noted jazz and film composer and arranger Dave Slonaker. Intrada features nine original tracks, and a sprightly take on "It's Only a Paper Moon." All 10 songs are given invigorating and creative arrangements and performances. And Rochesterians can be proud, because training at the Eastman School of Music was a factor in the music created. Slonaker is a graduate, and several others in the 17-piece orchestra have studied and/or taught at ESM, including Ed Czach, Clay Jenkins, Bill Reichenbach, Brian Scanlon and Bob Sheppard. The best of big band music incorporates tight harmonies, is propelled by punchy rhythms, and offers lyrical solo beauty, and that's all to be found in Intrada. No wonder the disc has just been awarded a Grammy nomination as best large jazz ensemble album. We'll discover at the end of January if Slonaker will take home the award. But he's already created a winner.