One of jazz's most acclaimed, distinctive improvisers, virtuoso saxophonist James Carter, returns to a favored format and simpatico colleagues with "At the Crossroads" -- his third release showcasing his long-standing Organ Trio. Enjoying consistently inspired play with fellow Motor City stars organist Gerard Gibbs and drummer Leonard King, Jr., Carter gets down in his inimitable way on a program boasting rollicking swingers, moving ballads, a gospel standard, and plenty of blues-drenched items. Special guests, also from Detroit, include vocalist Miche Braden, trumpeter Kenyon Harrold, trombonist Vincent Chandler and guitarist Brandon Ross.
Minneapolis-based pianist and composer Mary Louis Knutson has been called "one of the most exciting and innovative artists to happen to jazz in quite some time." Her warm, inviting tone, broad range of emotional expression, and distinctive compositions have brought her much recognition on the national music scene, performing with jazz greats like Dizzy Gillespie, Ernie Watts and Peter Erskine. Knutson's new CD -- "In the Bubble" -- showcases her tasteful playing and arranging as well her gift for composition. Twin Cities rhythm icons, bassist Gordon Johnson and drummer Phil Hey, are among Knutson's bandmates for this release.