This Washington D.C. big band will knock you out right off the bat as opening composition "Knight for a Day (Dragon's Demise)" features an ample horn section blasting out of the speakers. With an exciting arrangement that hints at some of Gil Evans' "Porgy and Bess" themes with a Maynard Ferguson touch and some tasty solos, a big band fan will find themselves pleasantly entranced. Led by veteran multi-reedist, primary soloist, primary composer and arranger Vince Norman and drummer Joe McCarthy, who both have military band ties - who knew the stars and stripes could swing like this? Running through this new release is the shadow of saxophonists Stanley Turrentine - whose "Sugar" is covered here and also was the inspiration for two other songs, and Grover Washington, Jr. - who is given his due on the grooving "Super Grover." "Peanuts" piano legend Vince Guaraldi - of "Linus and Lucy" fame - is also feted on the wonderful waltz "Goodbye Mr. Schultz" - with nice piano work by Tony Nalker. The blend of pop jazz and big band is attractive. Delicious arrangements and fine solos highlight songs like the Latin-flavored "For My Beloved" and the catchy bass-driven "Ah Dju Bah." Meanwhile, Norman's solo on melodica on his lovely ballad "Katelyn" is a true highlight along with the intricate Latin-groove of "Connect the Dots" (with excellent Bb soprano solo by Norman). The multi-talented Norman switches to tenor on the brightly swinging title track, then does double-duty on alto and C soprano on their 5/4 take on "Sugar." Full of colorful arrangements and rock solid playing on a well-recorded and mixed recording, this particular band does appear to have a bright future. And maybe the big band genre as well. .