The Washington-based Sunday Morning Jazz Band, so named by virtue of its weekly rehearsal time since the genesis of the 18-piece orchestra in the mid-'70s, will release its first album this week on Jazz Heritage, a local label (available from Box 7043, Alexandria, Va. 22307). Leader Mike Crotty cites the age-old law of supply and demand as their inspiration to go on record, but with a twist as contemporary as their style.

"We sat there night after night for years staring out into 30 customers' microphones," he recounts. "The people used to come to our gigs and jockey for front-row seats with their cassette recorders. We figured, what the hell, let's get the recorders off our backs and also utilize that market. Matter of fact, we're scheduled for studio time in February to cut our second album."

All of the selections are arranged by Crotty and three are his compositions, including the title cut, "In Search of the Phoenix." Crotty, an Air Force sergeant who concentrates on reeds and trumpet but can perform on all the instruments in the band, will be in Hawaii for several weeks with the Airmen of Note and, when he returns, the SMJB, which has featured such guest performers as Al Cohn, Lee Konitz and Sonny Stitt, will resume its schedule of engagements in the area.