Bob Bernotas, WNTI's host of Just Jazz, makes the following four CD recommendations:
Clifton Anderson: Decade (Doxy): Trombonist - and long-time Sonny Rollins sideman - Clifton Anderson gets a long-deserved chance to step out front for a change Throughout this fine mix of standards and originals he is supported by a pair of stellar rhythm sections (Larry Willis, Bob Cranshaw, and Al Foster; Stephen Scott, Christian McBride, and Steve Jordan), and joined on two tracks by alto saxophonist Kenny Garrett.
Benny Golson: New Time, New 'Tet (Concord Jazz): In his first new recording in five years, tenor saxophonist-composer Benny Golson revives his classic Jazztet format. This is "thinking person's hard bop" á la Golson, combining lyricism with funk, brimming with intelligence and wit, as delivered by this jazz master and his all-star ensemble (trumpeter Eddie Henderson, trombonist Steve Davis, pianist Mike LeDonne, bassist Buster Williams, drummer Carl Allen).
Bill Henderson: Beautiful Memory (Ahuh): A new release by singer Bill Henderson - recorded in 2007 on his 81st birthday - should be anyone's idea of good news. No empty mannerisms or "actor's studio" tricks, all Henderson needs, as he revisits some of his favorite songs, is his appealing voice, easy sense of swing, and total integrity. Every jazz singer alive can and should take a lesson from the way Bill Henderson makes it all seem so easy.
Roberto Occhipinti: A Bend in the River (Alma): On three of the seven tracks in this ambitious project, Canadian bassist-composer Roberto Occhipinti and three brilliant Cuban musicians - alto saxophonist Luis Deniz, pianist David Virelles, drummer Dafnis Prieto - are supported by a string quartet plus winds. Three others add a forty-piece string orchestra from Moscow. All of them offer a thoughtful, fluid blend of jazz, classical, and world music.