Of the Tonight Show Band's three Amherst CDs, this is the most highly recommended one. The repertoire is fresher than the songs featured on the two earlier releases and, in addition to the usual swing-era standards, such tunes as Tommy Newsom's "Three Shades of Blue" and Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely" are included. Guest appearances by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis ("Avalon") and singer Tony Bennett ("I Can't Get Started") add some variety, the arrangements (mostly by the innovative Bill Holman and Tommy Newsom) are generally colorful, and the band (featuring such soloists as trumpeters Doc Severinsen, Snooky Young, and Conte Candoli; tenor saxophonist Pete Christlieb; and pianist Ross Tompkins) sounds in prime form.
For this effort, trumpeter Doc Severinsen, in one of his rare recordings away from a big band format, teams up with the reeds of Ernie Watts, guitarist Lee Ritenour, a variety of studio musicians and a large string orchestra to perform crossover-oriented music. With arrangements contributed by producer Jeff Tyzik and Allen Vizzutti, even such songs as "My Funny Valentine," "Take The 'A' Train" and "Maiden Voyage" are transformed into rather routine, funky dance music.
This is one of the first recorded works for Command by American trumpeter and bandleader Carl Hilding "Doc" Severinsen (Oregon, 1927) leading his own instrumental group. Doc in 1967 became conductor and since then his big band became one of the country views on 'The Tonight Show' on NBC. During his career collaborated on many occasions with the Command label. From the 80s directed various orchestras in the country until he left in 2007. But he still continues to act with the group 'Doc Severinsen & The Saint Miguel 5'. In this album he also shows his quality with the trumpet.