Bob Bernotas, WNTI's host of Just Jazz, makes the following four CD recommendations:
Gene Bertoncini & Roni Ben-Hur: Smile (Motéma): The guitar team of Gene Bertoncini (nylon-string acoustic) and Roni Ben-Hur (electric) presents a thoroughly pleasing program of standards and originals dedicated to the memory of bassist-humanitarian Earl May, whose sunny personality is reflected in the title track, "Smile." This is duo improvisation at its intuitive best.
Proceeds from the sale of this CD will benefit the Dizzy Gillespie Memorial Fund at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in Englewood, NJ.
The Blue Note 7: Mosaic: A Celebration of Blue Note Records (Blue Note): In honor of Blue Note's 70th anniversary, an all-star septet revisits classic tunes from the label's storied history. Peter Bernstein, Bill Charlap, Ravi Coltrane, Lewis Nash, Nichols Payton, Peter Washington, and Steve Wilson perform the music of Monk, Silver, Hancock, Henderson, Tyner, and more in faithful, yet fresh, treatments.
Eliane Elias: Bossa Nova Stories (Blue Note): Brazilian singer-pianist Eliane Elias gives the bossa nova treatment to Great American Songbook favorites alongside Brazilian standards by Jobim ("Chega de Saudade," "Desafinado," and that nasty "Ipanema" thing) and Donato ("Minha Saudade," "A R?"). Harmonica master Toots Thielemans lends his brilliance to two tracks.
Martial Solal: Live at the Village Vanguard: I Can't Give You Anything But Love (CAM Jazz): This live solo performance by Algerian-born, French piano legend Martial Solal - recorded in a rare 2007 US appearance at the age of 80 - offers a striking musical portrait of one of jazz's most inventive and distinctive keyboard stylists.