After 20 years and a dozen CDs, in an industry that has undergone sweeping transformations in the past decade, Fourplay knows that the only thing that's certain, in music or any other business, is change. The latest proof of that axiom is the new face in their lineup-that of guitarist Chuck Loeb, who makes his compelling debut with the quartet on the band's new recording, "Let's Touch the Sky." Loeb completes the four-man crew that also includes the band's founding members: keyboardist Bob James, bassist Nathan East and drummer Harvey Mason.
Another new jazz release: Jelly Roll Morton opined that jazz is not a set repertoire but rather an attitude that can be applied to any piece of music. The UCF Jazz Ensemble, comprised of freshmen, sophomores, and a few juniors in the emerging Jazz Studies program at the University of Central Florida, recorded seven pieces with this attitude in mind. The resulting collaboration -- "Jazz Town" -- includes not only classics but also new works written specifically for the Ensemble.
Also new: Brazilian pianist Helio Alves offers up his fifth release as a leader, "Musica", with his trio and special guests Claudio Roditi and Romero Lubambo; saxophonist Michael Zsoldos debuts with "Off the Cuff", recorded live in the spirit of an old-school blowing session featuring standards and original work; and Dana Lauren, a semi-finalist at the 2010 Thelonious Monk Vocal Jazz Competition, is joined by saxophonist Joel Frahm and pianist Manuel Valera on "It's You or No One."