Either Whitney Smith suffers from acute separation anxiety or he hasn't the heart to fire anyone. With eight brass players, five saxes, four holding down the rhythm section and a couple of singers, I imagine it takes hours to settle who sits shotgun on the band bus. The music is big-band swing in the Basie and Ellington tradition, with a little Latin jazz and R&B thrown in for good measure, yet it has enough twists and tempo changes to make it somewhat contemporary. The jury is still out on whether Smith has come up with a solution to a problem that never existed, but if you're hankering for some of that old-time music, you won't be disappointed.
Whitney and his band play Lee's tonight (Thursday, December 16).