From the very start of his career in the early '50s, Kenny Burrell has been described as a bop and hard bop guitarist. Some of his early recordings supported this description, but like all the great players, Burrell brings his own unique style and sound to his playing. The bop elements are there, to be sure, along with blues and a great blend of the two styles, but he exhibits a much gentler, more melodic and expressive style of play. And he consistently proves himself to be an exceptional soloist. The diversity and elegance of Burrell's playing is evident throughout his new CD -- "Be Yourself" -- recorded live with his quintet at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola in New York City.
"A Handful of Stars" is a most apt description for Los Angeles' first-call baritone saxophonist Adam Schroeder's debut release as a leader. He's been featured over the years with the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Clark Terry, Ray Charles, and Anthony Wilson's Nonet. Shroeder has assembled a hard-swinging and sublimely sensitive quartet with veterans John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton, and rising star guitarist Graham Dechter on a program of originals and works by Ellington, Hefti, Porter and Quincy Jones.
Other new musuc: Bassist Charnett Moffet explores both the inner and outer limits of jazz composition, with solo and duo works, the trio format, and a larger ensemble on his new disc, "Treasure"; Michael Dease, whom jazz masters and critics alike have pegged as one of the most impressive trombonists of his generation, offers up his third release as leader, "Grace"; and contemporary jazz keyboardist David Benoit shines on "Earthglow."