Bob Bernotas, WNTI's host of Just Jazz, makes the following four CD recommendations:
Hal Galper: Art-Work (Origin): Pianist Hal Galper's trio concept is bold, deep, insightful, and provocative. Joining him for this set of extended performances are bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Rashied Ali, a pair of former John Coltrane sidemen who are well suited to Galper's brand of collective rubato exploration.
Scott Reeves: Shape Shifter (Miles High): In this refreshing program of original works, trombonist Scott Reeves puts aside that familiar horn and spotlights his more unusual instruments - the alto valve trombone and alto flugelhorn. A gifted composer, Reeves' wide-ranging influences include French impressionists, twentieth-century Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera, and the eclectic Brazilian multi-instrumentalist, Hermeto Pascoal.
Claudio Roditi: Brazilliance (Resonance): Claudio Roditi's taste, warmth, and lyricism would put most other jazz trumpeters to shame (that is, if they had any shame). A stellar Brazilian rhythm section (pianist Helio Alves, bassist Leonardo Cioglia, drummer Duduka Da Fonseca) joins him in elegant performances of Brazilian classics by Victor Assis Brasil, Durval Ferreira, Raul de Souza, Johnny Alf, and Jo„o Donato, plus four original compositions.
†††Joel Larue Smith: September's Child
†† (Joel Larue Smith Productions)
Joel Larue Smith: September's Child (Joel Larue Smith Productions): Boston-based pianist Joel LaRue Smith makes an impressive debut with this Latin jazz trio release. His tuneful compositions deftly blend Afro-Cuban rhythms and jazz harmonies, and his treatment of Mario BauzŠ's immortal "Mambo Inn" breathes a new freshness into a Latin jazz standard.