In Extreme Heat, altoist Pat Longo's all-star Hollywood Jazz Band takes a fresh Latin approach to a collection of standards and originals. The fittingly named includes such luminaries as trumpeters Wayne Bergeron and Carl Saunders, trombonists Charlie Loper and Andy Martin, and saxophonists Kim Richmond and Pete Christlieb. With one exception, all the charts, by arrangers like Buddy Childers, Bob Florence, Kim Richmond and Bill Armstrong, call for one or two extra percussionists.
Childers' version of the Chano Pozo-Gil Fuller classic "Manteca" gets the CD off to a fiery start and features Carl Saunders' trumpet wizardry. The Roy Phillipe and Gary Urwin reworking of Stan Kenton's "Artistry in Rhythm" rejuvenates that classic once more. The most engaging of the charts, Bob Florence's take on Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," with its Latin setting, quotes from other tunes, and the funky alto solo by Rusty Higgins is nothing like Gershwin envisioned but it's a delight anyway.
Other tracks include Luis Bonfa's "Black Orpheus," Herb Alpert's "Rise," Armstrong's Latin adaptation of "Summertime" ("Summer Time Down South") and originals by Armstrong and Florence. It goes without saying that the ensemble exemplifies the utmost in skill and musicianship.