The last time Keith Jarrett and Charlie Haden were together on record was a live disc in 1976, a document from the final days of Jarrett's great American Quartet. In the interim, the two have each separately given renewed attention to the music of the Great American Songbook, Jarrett in his widely-admired Standards ensembles, and Haden with his Quartet West. Early in 2007 Jarrett was invited to contribute some reminiscences to a film documentary about Haden. This led to some informal playing together and, ultimately, to "Jasmine", their first collaboration in 30 years.
Saxophonist Phil Woods and the DePaul University Jazz Ensemble began their association with a series of performances at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago back in 2004 which resulted in a recording that received widespread critical acclaim. Since that time, Woods has performed with the band on several occasions, including many performances at area high schools and jazz festivals. Early last year they completed recording sessions for their latest project, "Solitude", featuring a program of Woods originals arranged by members of the DePaul Jazz Studies faculty, Ensemble members and alumni, and Woods himself. The disc also features his Grammy Award-winning rhythm section of pianist Jim McNeely, bassist Steve Gilmore and drummer Bill Goodwin.
Dr. Lonnie Smith, who headlines the Iowa City Jazz Festival July 4, unveils his new CD, "Spiral; Grover Live", a never-before-released live performance by Grover Washington Jr. from 1997.
And Trumpeter Ken Watters and his trio combine the most powerful and seductive Caribbean styles with a broad mix of other musical traditions on "Riyel."