Allen Smith Quartet | Cornucopia

Introduction is not necessary for these three jazz giants. Any jazz fan would anticipate great things happen when you put three musicians of this caliber together, and he or she would be right. Their exceptional musicianship and creativity spark in this inspired set.

John Hicks Trio | Sunshower

As Jim Merod writes in his liner notes, the essential voice of this album is “romance.” Hicks’ treatment and rendering of ballads are beautiful and elegant. He also shows his appreciation for pianists he admires: Bill Evans (“My Foolish Heart”), Sonny Clark (“Melody in C”), Kenny Barron (“Sunshower”) and Billy Strayhorn (“Strayhorn Medley”).

Jackie Ryan | For Heaven’s Sake

Jackie Ryan’s rich voice has been compared to Sarah Vaughan, Betty Carter and Morgana King. She sings fluently in several languages and has performed all over the world to critical acclaim. On this, her first live recording, she is joined by The Mike Wofford Trio. A fitting choice, Mike Wofford was Sarah Vaughan’s and Ella Fitzgerald’s accompanist for over ten years.

Joe Diorio Trio | Live

You will be impressed with how the three respond to each other, develop musical ideas and build up their solos to boiling points. They took their time exploring each tune: They are more than 10 minutes long. This is music that deserves serious attention. You should make sure that you won’t be disturbed for the next hour, sit back, close your eyes and really listen. From beginning to end. The reward will be huge.

Chris Colangelo | 2 Trios+1

When you listen to this special CD, what you immediately notice is the full, rich, deeply resonant tone of Colangelo’s bass. He is an old-school bassist who does not use electronic pickups. When amplification is necessary in a live venue, he prefers to put a microphone in front of his bass and let it pick up what’s coming out of the entire instrument.

Dale Fielder Quarter | Romance Serenade

Dale Fielder has earned a position in the front ranks of saxophonists on the West Coast over the span of the last ten-plus years. His quartets and large ensembles have played virtually every important and medium-scale jazz venue on the coast.