Alex Budman, who plays reeds in this aggregation, points out in his notes that during the mid-2000s a number of musicians from around the U.S. settled in Los Angeles and played in various big bands. Some of them with similar musical sensibilities found one another and this fine band is the result. Both Budman and trombonist Jeremy Levy create original material for the band, but since some of Budman's work was already released on a CD with the Contemporary Jazz Orchestra in San Francisco, the two made this album all originals from Levy.
The orchestra was formed in 2007 and with the variety of great tunes and arrangements from both leaders has become an important West Coast musical group. Levy is fearless as an arranger: "Zona Mona" comes from Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, and he arranged it as if it were being performed by the Pat Metheny Group. "Miller Time" is a tribute to his composition teacher, and "Superbone Meets the Bud Man" is a takeoff on Maynard Ferguson and shows off the talents of both Levy and his co-leader, on trombone and reeds. The ninth track, "Waiting," is a touching ballad written when Levy's girl friend was leaving for a year in San Francisco. It has a string quartet providing the string section, and is beautifully arranged. The four trombones and four trumpets/Flugelhorns of the band give the other numbers a real impact, but the big climaxes are exciting and melodic.