This comprises mini-big band sounds in the mainstream, from a paired-down version of Cashman's larger big band unit. It is music that comes out of the extensive jazz concert program at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center in California. The nine-piece unit is extremely well rehearsed and able, doing some ten excellent charts by Cashman and Eric Futterer. What's remarkable especially is the large sound they get from the nonet. Then it's of course WHAT the music does that hits you. Well-wrought!
There are hard-boppish soloists in the band who can and do bring us the hot sauce. But I especially like the charts and how they hang together and swing.
The Muckenthaler program and the artists within it are dedicated to using the music to help raise money and consciousness about and for local charities, so that's another reason to appreciate what they are doing.
If you like the Thad and Mel kind of classical modern ensemble jazz you are going to dig this!