Denver and the Mile High Orchestra

Dec 11, 2002 07:51 AM EST

Denver & the Mile High Orchestra returns for round two on Stand, which is very much a "Part 2" collection of the same kind of music first featured on Act the Scat, their debut album.

Like before, the formula starts with a foundation of big band music (performed by a real "big band"), and then tosses in dashes of everything from jazz to r&b, from Latin to soul, from inspo to old fashioned rock & roll. While the musicians take their craft seriously, the music always includes a slight wink at the listener, as if these guys know how outlandish it is to try to play so many kinds of music and keep it real, but doggone it they're going to do it anyway and you're invited to come along for the ride.

No matter what style of music you like, you're bound to find something to enjoy on Stand. There's the big, horn-filled dancehall stuff that harkens back to the 1930s. There are basic contemporary/inspirational ballads to lift your spirits and encourage your heart. There are soulful grooves you'll feel deep down, and rocking toe-tappers.

It always stays within the realm of what this band can perform live (no budget-busting production values), but it's nearly all brand new material, and it's irresistably fun.

Album cover courtesy of Reel Loud Records

By Robin Parrish