From 1959 through 1972, French pianist/composer/arranger Francy Boland and US drum legend Kenny Clarke fronted one of the greatest big bands of the era. Situated in Europe and stacked with international stars, the popular band recorded a slew of albums including over half a dozen for MPS.
After the band's breakup, Boland concentrated on composing, as well as arranging for such stars as Sarah Vaughan. He also recorded three classic albums for MPS in 1976. The third, "White Heat", is once again studded with stars; the 24-piece band includes saxophonists Sahib Shihab, Ronnie Scott, Sal Nistico, trumpeters Kenny Wheeler, Benny Bailey, Dusko Gojkovic, and trombonists Frank Rosolino, and Eric Van Lier.
Besides Boland's stellar arrangements, Francy contributes two original compositions. His "Daffodils" has a funky Afro-Latin feel with Francy's solo followed by Englander Tony Coe on clarinet. The standard "Everything I Have Is Yours" is taken at a leisurely pace, with Coe taking the first solo on alto, followed by Shihab on baritone and Sadi on vibraphone. "As Long As There Is Music" features Boland on electric piano, while Boland's "Nargilah" begins with an impressionistic acapella piano intro and an intricate theme before segueing into solos by a muted Bailey, Rosalino, and Coe on clarinet. "East Of The Sun" is a relaxed jaunt that has Nistico leading off, followed by Boland, ending with flashy solos by Rosolino and Sadi. The sassy medium-tempo romp, "A Gal In Calico" features Wheeler on flugelhorn, Nistico's tenor, and Boland. An album of hip compositions, richly-textured arrangements and masterful solos – it's big band jazz at its best!