From 1951-92 Erwin Lehn conducted one of Germany’s leading swing big bands, the Radio Stuttgart Dance Orchestra. The band included top names from the international jazz scene, including American trombonists Bob Burgess (Stan Kenton and Woody Herman bands) and Donald Beightol (Oliver Nelson), Swedish trumpeter Rolf Ericson (Duke Ellington, Buddy Rich Sextet), German Saxophonist Joki Freund (Albert Mangelsdorff, Hans Koller), and Dutch trumpet great Ack Van Rooyen. Composed by either band saxophonist Bernd Rabe or Lehn, the vibrant pieces cover a wide range of contemporary jazz. On Alfredo, bop horn lines, Van Rooyen’s sweet singing solo, along with Freund’s crisp improv stand out. Burgess highlights the trombonist’s layered depth, from ballad to rock to swing and back, whereas Atlantik 2 displays brassy, sophisticated chording, Van Rooyen’s trumpet in all its muted elegance, and hip sax and piano solos. Rabe’s moody sax opens El Cuervo Nuovo before the piece moves into a mix of Latin and swing with Van Rooyen’s majestic trumpet soaring above the band. Lift Up features Rabe on alto and Ericson’s blistering trumpet, and the aptly named Color may be portrayed as the album’s highlight. It offers a kaleidoscope of moods and hues, with just about everyone contributing to the composition’s overall texture. Funf Zu Vier (Five to Four) plays around with 4/4 and 5/4 time signatures. Despite having been one of the best and most popular big bands in Germany, Lehn’s Orchestra made surprisingly few records, especially in such a pure jazz setting. This 1974 album is possibly their best, and as such is a classic of the genre.