If Dave Tough was not "one of the greatest drummers of the swing era" (to quote the album cover), he certainly was one of the most respected and hardest working. His timekeeping skills were recorded for posterity with the likes of red Nichols, Eddie Condon, Bunny Berigan, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey and his Clambake Seven, and Woody Herman’s First Herd.
In doing some research on Tough’s life, he was considered a consummate musician by all accounts. Regardless of what band he was a member, Tough always favored supporting the other musicians to standing out and rarely soloed. This is the role that drummer Eddie Metz, Jr. plays on this tribute album to Tough.
The album’s tracks were selected based on what Metz and his father (the current leader of the Bob Crosby Orchestra) call the three phases of Tough’s career. As a result, the tracks follow the evolution of jazz from its Dixieland beginnings to the peak of the Swing era.
The musicians on this album followed a few arrangements for special effect and for the most part played free. This is noticeable as there is an energy on the album that brings songs like "Beale Street Blues", "At The Codfish Ball", and "Sophisticated Swing" to roaring life.