Waitin’ for the W. T.: W. T. Preston Jazz Band

“The W. T. Preston Jazz Band was started by Ben Root, an Anacortes trumpet player who loved New Orleans-style jazz and wanted to put together a local group to share his interest (and named it after the old paddle wheeler now being used as a museum in Anacortes). Ben gathered several of his musician friends and began to play Dixieland Jazz. After his passing in 1997, Norris Hooten took over, and Pat Rein joined. The group expanded its repertoire to include tunes from the 60’s through the 80’s (in Dixieland style).” –CD leaflet.

Mile 7 Music, 2001

Cosmopolite: the Oscar Peterson Verve Sessions

Benny Carter – These timeless Benny Carter performances match the great altoist with pianist Oscar Peterson, bassist Ray Brown, either Barney Kessel or Herb Ellis on guitar, Buddy Rich, J.C. Heard or Bobby White on drums, and, on four numbers, trombonist Bill Harris. The 17 standards (four of which are also heard in alternate versions) are treated with respect, taste, and swing. Carter always sounds flawless and is in excellent form throughout this enjoyable set.” –Scott Yanow

Verve/Polygram, 1994

Expedition 2: Wolff & Clark Expedition

Veteran musicians with jazz roots, Michael Wolff (piano) and Mike Clark (drums), offer Expedition 2 as a sonic exploration of their more-than-45-year friendship and musical careers. With an experimental mix of straight-ahead, rock, funk, and Latin jazz, the record is a cross-section of two varied musical careers, with notable collaborators like Christian McBride and Daryl Johns on bass, Wallace Roney on trumpet, and the young saxophonist Hailey Niswanger.

Random Act, 2015

Abstract Quantities: Chad Mccullough / Bram Weijters

With Abstract Quantities, Seattle trumpeter Chad McCullough continues his fertile creative hookup with the Belgian keyboardist Bram Weijters. Piet Verbist on bass, and John Bishop on drums, round out this third collaboration between McCullough and Weijters. Featuring original compositions by the two (McCullough’s three to Weijters’ eight), Abstract Quantities is filled with pure tones, wistful melodies, and cohesive interplay within the quartet.

Origin Records, 2015

Intents and Purposes: Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet

The Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet features the Pakistan-born, California-reared guitarist along with Bill Ware (vibraphone), Stephan Crump (bass), and Eric McPherson (drums), recreating early jazz-fusion classics from the likes of Herbie Hancock, Weather Report, Tony Williams, and others. Abbasi recasts these primarily electric, 1970’s originals into enjoyable, modern acoustic settings influenced, as always, by his South Asian musical sensibilities.

Enja, 2015

The Last Southern Gentlemen: Delfeayo Marsalis

In this first-time collaboration with his pianist father Ellis Marsalis, trombonist and producer Delfeayo delivers a fine album of jazz standards and original compositions. The trombonist tenderly and intimately swings through “Autumn Leaves” and “If I Were a Bell,” and surprises with “Can You Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street.” It’s a lovely album that escorts the listener through a classic and gentle jazz experience in the hands of masters.

Troubadour Jass, 2014

Dedication: Justin Kauflin

Produced by Quincy Jones, Dedication has been named a DownBeat magazine Editor’s Pick, a New York Times Critics’ Choice, and spent numerous weeks on the top of the jazz charts. The album is the second full-length effort by 28-year-old pianist Kauflin, who lost his vision at an early age due to a rare eye disease. It features 12 original compositions in trio and quartet settings that are dedicated to his mentor, trumpeter Clark Terry, and accompany the award winning documentary film, “Keep on Keeping on.” This is a mature and marvelous record that rewards multiple listens.

Jazz Village, 2014

Ernestine Anderson Swings the Penthouse: Ernestine Anderson

Seattle’s beloved jazz and blues vocal legend unveils these historically significant recordings from performance at the legendary Pioneer Square jazz club, The Penthouse, more than 50 years after the fact. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear the great Anderson, live and at the start of her career, on standards like “You Make Me Feel So Young,” “There Will Never Be Another You,” and “Honeysuckle Rose,” which have never been released in any format since recorded here. One can easily see how Anderson, whose career spanned over 60 years, still had so many tricks up her sleeve.

Highnote, 2015

Round Nina: Various Artists

Eleven years after her passing, a somewhat disparate but enormously talented tribe of musicians honors the distinctive jazz vocalist Nina Simone, on Round Nina. Interpreted by artists from around the world — like Keziah Jones, Gregory Porter, Melody Gardot, and Youn Sun Nah — the tribute is filled with jazz, blues, and soul renditions of the Simone’s tunes such as “Sinnerman,” “Black is the Color (of My True Love’s Hair),” “Feeling Good,” and “I Put a Spell on You.” The roster of younger artists turn this ambitious record into proof of the timelessness of Simone’s work.

Verve, 2014

I Remember Cedar: David Hazeltine

“I Remember Cedar represents the passing of a baton, with a lingering grip. Pianist Cedar Walton had a profound influence on the musical artistry of David Hazeltine. For his part, Walton once called Hazeltine ‘for sure the brightest star on the jazz piano horizon.’ When Walton passed in August of 2013 at the age of 79, this tribute from Hazeltine—with its ensemble integrity, nuanced innovation and overall ability to pay back, with interest, a hefty stylistic debt—was inevitable,” writes Britt Robson, JazzTimes. “[The] ability to unearth so much fertile ground within the theoretically narrow confines of mid-tempo bop (ballads and breakneck tunes are mostly eschewed) is what made the ingenuity of Walton, and subsequently Hazeltine, such an enduring pleasure…The final track is ‘Over the Rainbow,’ Walton’s favorite solo piece. Hazeltine’s solo version is worthy of the occasion, and could righteously stand as the eulogy Walton fans most cherish.

Sharp Nine Records, 2015

Take This: Jacky Terrasson

The French pianist is renowned for his carefully controlled velocity, exquisite phrasing, and affinity to everything from the French Romantics and mid-century bebop to American pop icons. Take This, an album whose name comes from Paul Desmond’s 1959 “Take Five,” features Terrasson with American bassist Burniss Travis, Cuban-born drummer Lukmill Perez, Malian percussionist Adama Diarra, and Afro-French vocalist/ beatboxer Sly Johnson, to create a record with a global jazz sound. Balancing standards from Bud Powell, Miles Davis, and more, Terrasson also takes on classic rock with the Beatles’ “Come Together” and modern pop with Gotye’s 2011 “Somebody That I Used to Know.”

Impulse, 2015

Made in Chicago: live at the Chicago Jazz Festival

Jack DeJohnette – Long known as 1/3 of the enduring “Standards Trio” of Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette originally came up in Chicago, and has always maintained ties to that fertile creative music scene. In August, 2013, the renowned drummer reunited with old friends to record a concert at his hometown’s Millennium Park. Made in Chicago features avant-gardists Henry Threadgill and Roscoe Mitchell on saxophones, Muhal Richard Abrams on piano, and Larry Gray on double bass and cello. Original compositions and group improvisation by these seasoned musicians make for a thrilling live album.

ECM, 2015