In the jazz world, Bob Mintzer is a household name, usually associated with being a reed man, composer, arranger, leader of a Grammy Award-winning big band, member of the Yellowjackets, and educator. For his new project, "Canyon Cove", he was inspired by the rich sound of the Hammond B3 combined with the close-knit feeling of the organ trio. Much of his original music on the disc is a nod to the older generation of organists like Groove Holmes, Jimmy McGriff, and Jimmy Smith, but also acknowledges subsequent players like Joey De Francesco, Lonnie Smith and Charles Earland. He's joined in this endeavor by another stellar organist, Larry Goldings, and drummer Peter Erskine.
Meanwhile, Pianist Hilario Duran's career began more than four decades ago in Cuba, where he was a member and arranger of two of that country's most illustrious orchestras. He also gathered up the remnants of the band Irakere after the departures of Paquito D'Rivera and Arturo Sandoval, serving as its musical director until he left to live in Canada. For the follow-up to his Grammy-nominated, Juno Award-winning Latin big band recording of last year, Duran brings together a power trio comprised of bassist Robert Occhipinti and drummer Mark Kelso for "Motion."
Other new musuc: Icelandic pianist Sunna Gunnlaugs unveils her sixth releases as a leader, "The Dream", having returned to her native land from New York City five years ago; Larry Carlton teams up with Japanese guitarist Tak Matsumoto on a program of fusion fretwork, "Take Your Pick"; and Washington D.C.-based saxophonist Jeff Antoniuk steps out with his second CD with his band the Jazz Update on "Brotherhood."