Canadian-born, UK-based trumpeter Kenny Wheeler has quite the resume: Mitchell's Roscoe and Joni, free improvisation with the likes of Derek Bailey and Evan Parker, chamber jazz on ECM with Lee Konitz and Bill Frisell, free-tinged hard bop with George Adams, and - get ready for this one - he was an arranger (and composer) for Maynard Ferguson on his M.F. Horn Vol. 2 (Columbia, 1972). Song For Someone is a first-time-on-CD reissue of Wheeler’s first album of his own music (1973) for big band. Stylistically, much of this is strongly reminiscent of the big bands of Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, Woody Herman and Toshiko Akiyoshi from the same period: (powerfully) swinging masses of brasses and reeds and dynamic unison passages punctuated by concise (and inspired) soloing. There is one crucial difference, though: the influence of free jazz and the presence of two of its icons, the aforementioned Misters Bailey and Parker. But this is NOT "free" big band jazz like William Parker’s or Sun Ra’s orchestras - Wheeler devises sections for Bailey and Parker to do their wild n’ wooly tres-out thing within a specific but not confining context (recalling Gil Evans’ more adventurous 70s & 80s stuff). Song is likely too "conservative" for fans of the UK creative jazz & improv scenes and has "out" sections that may alienate fans of Herman and Jones/Lewis - but the more flexible-minded that appreciate both styles are strongly urged to seek out this platter posthaste.