Bob Sheppard has long been one of the top reed players based in Southern California. Among his most important associations was his eight year tenure with Freddie Hubbard, along with work in the bands of Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker and others. "Close Your Eyes", just his fourth release as a leader, gives Sheppard an opportunity to present his own music with some of his favorite musicians, contributing two songs and arranging all nine performances. He's joined by pianist Alan Pasqua, drummer Antonio Sanchez, trumpeter Alex Sipiagen and guitarist Larry Koonse.
The innovative trio from New York City, Bernal, Eckroth & Ennis, blends the infectious rhythms and richly nuanced songwriting traditions of Brazil, Chile, Cuba and other Latin American countries with the spontaneous and exhilarating improvisation and group dynamics of jazz. Having immersed themselves deeply in the cultures from which they draw their inspiration, Chilean vocalist Natalia Bernal, keyboardist Mike Eckroth and seven-string guitarist Jason Ennis put their unique stamp on familiar Bossa Novas, boleros, tangos, Andean folk tunes, original compositions and jazz standards on "La Voz de Tres."