The Marcus Roberts Trio, founded in 1995, is known for its virtuosic style-a style that is strongly rhythmic, melodic, and filled with dynamic contrast. When long time Roberts fan and banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck stayed late at a Savannah Music Festival jam session just to hear the pianist play, he was asked to join in. A year later they agreed to perform together at the same festival. "The gig was honestly amazing," says Fleck. "There was a natural rapport between Marcus and me from the first note." "It was a lot of fun working with Bela on this project," say Roberts of their new CD, "Across the Imaginary Divide." "The recording brings our two styles together in a way that I think will be really enjoyable for the listeners."
After nearly five decades of recording and performing, at an age when many artists are coasting if not retiring altogether, Al Jarreau continues to take his music to new and different places. Since the mid-1970s, this versatile singer has applied his distinctive vocal style to a broad spectrum of musical genres, and is the only vocalist in history to claim Grammy Awards in three distinct genres of jazz, pop and R&B. The most recent chapter in his journey is "Al Jarreau and the Metropole Orkest-Live", a collection of the best performances from a two-night engagement in the Netherlands last year with full orchestral arrangements by conductor and arranger Vince Mendoza.