Phil Woods / Stan Kenton / The Les Hooper Band
Phil Woods / DePaul University Jazz Ensemble
Not to underplay the title, but Solitude, from alto saxophone master Phil Woods and the splendid DePaul University Jazz Ensemble, embodies far more than the sort of serenity it implies. In fact, Woods is as animated and inventive as ever, swinging lustily and full of vim and vigor at age 78, while director Bob Lark's enterprising undergrads urge him on with inspired blowing on every number.
The studio session is further enhanced by the presence on three tracks of the other members of the Phil Woods Quartet: pianist Jim McNeely (a frequent visitor to DePaul), bassist Steve Gilmore and drummer Bill Goodwin. While McNeely is the only one of the three to soloon "A Child's Blues" and "Nothing But Soul"Gilmore and Goodwin make their presence felt in other ways, granting the ensemble the unflagging benefit of their many years together as a working rhythm section. Besides soloing brilliantly, Woods composed all of the album's 10 selections ("Solitude" isn't the well-known Ellington theme but an original by Woods), and none is less than engaging. The seductive arrangements are by Woods ("Randi," "Ol' Dude," "Solitude"), McNeely, Mike Pinto, Kirk Garrison, Tom Matta and two members of the ensemble, trumpeters Scott Dickinson and Joe Clark.
Although Woods exercises his prerogative as leader / legend-in-residence and takes the lion's share of the solos, there are persuasive comments along the way by DePaul's pianist, Dan Dufford ("Randi," "Solitude"), vibraphonist Justin Thomas ("Before I Left," "Flowers," "Ol' Dude," Mother Time"), trumpeter Dickinson ("Before I Left," "Song for Sass"), tenor Alex Beltran ("Ol' Dude"), trombonist Bryan Tipps ("Ol' Dude," "Mother Time") and alto Nick Mazzarella ("Ol' Dude"). The program consists of an artful blend of burners and ballads with the playful, self-mocking "Ol' Dude" and two Latin charmers ("Brazilian Affair," "Song for Sass") sandwiched in to spice up the menu, which they do quite nicely. The DePaul ensemble provides unswerving support in those settings, as it does throughout the lambent session.
In sum, a buoyant and picturesque album that is sure to give any listener many hours of pleasure, whether in Solitude or encircled by others.
This Is an Orchestra!
This magisterial and historically important two-CD set from Bill Lichtenauer's Tantara Productions is a companion piece to This Is an Orchestra! (University of North Texas Press), author Michael Sparke's biographical survey of the life and career of bandleader Stan Kenton, and should be a must-have for the many loyal fans of Kenton's music. The discs encompass seven concert performances spanning a quarter of a century and one band rehearsal from March 1961 in Hollywood. The first of the concerts is a DownBeat Awards broadcast on ABC Radio from February 1948 honoring Kenton (for Best Big Band of 1947) and four members of the ensemble: vocalist June Christy, arranger Pete Rugolo, bassist Eddie Safranski and drummer Shelly Manne, each of whom performs one number showcasing his / her individual talents. The half-dozen selections are interspersed with awkward repartee between the honorees and DownBeat editor Ned Williams.
Disc One is devoted to that performance and one in February 1956 at the Soldiers' Club at Fort Ord, CA; the other five concerts and rehearsal are on Disc Two. On the Fort Ord date, there's a chance to relish solos by some who weren't often in the spotlighttenor Spencer Sinatra, trumpeter Ed Leddy, bassist Curtis Counce, drummer Mel Lewisalongside a number of Kenton stalwarts including trumpeters Sam Noto and Vinnie Tanno, trombonists Carl Fontana and Kent Larsen, alto Lennie Niehaus, tenor Bill Perkins and baritone Jack Nimitz. Highlights include Niehaus' blistering solo on "Cherokee" and two dazzling originals each by Gerry Mulligan ("Young Blood," "Limelight") and Bill Holman ("Fearless Finlay," "Kingfish"). Fontana is outstanding on "Intermission Riff," "Take the 'A' Train," "Limelight" and his ballad feature, Holman's lush arrangement of "Polka Dots and Moonbeams." Holman also arranged "Cherokee" and the standard "Out of Nowhere" (the last as a vehicle for Perkins). Niehaus is showcased again on Joe Coccia's arrangement of "I'm Glad There Is You."
Disc Two opens with a June 1961 concert in Cincinnati before moving to the Hollywood Palladium (September 1962) for one number, "Lullaby of Birdland," then on to Salt Lake City (August 1962) and the rehearsal in Hollywood (March 1961) before closing with performances in November 1971 at Wittenburg College in Springfield, Ohio (one number, "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life") and February 1973 at Colston Hall in Bristol, Somerset, England. The first four dates feature Kenton's mellophonium orchestra and such impressive soloists as trumpeter Marvin Stamm, alto Gabe Baltazar and trombonist Bob Fitzpatrick. The only vocals on either disc, aside from Christy's "Lonely Woman" in Chicago, are by Jean Turner, who seems rather ill at ease on "It's a Big Wide Wonderful World" (on which she blows the lyric twice) and "Give Me a Song with a Beautiful Melody," the only numbers heard from the Salt Lake City concert.
The Hollywood rehearsal encompasses the "Prologue" and "Maria" from Leonard Bernstein / Stephen Sondheim's West Side Story and Holman's dynamic arrangement of "Malaguena." Kenton and alto Quin Davis are out front on "The Rest of Your Life," while the last half-dozen numbers are culled from the concert in Bristol, ending of course with "Artistry in Rhythm." Bassist John Worster is featured on Willie Maiden's "For Better and For Worster," solos with trombonist Harvey Coonin and tenor Richard Torres on Maiden's cleverly named "No Harmful Slide Effects" and with alto Kim Park on Hank Levy's "Of Space and Time." Park's is the lone solo voice on "Street of Dreams," while Coonin, Torres, trumpeter Dennis Noday and drummer Peter Erskine weigh in on Holman's fiery "Malaga."
According to the jacket cover, the discs embody "previously unreleased Kenton performances." Presumably, that means all of them; historians or archivists are invited to correct that assumption, if it's wrong. In any event, these are for the most part rich and historic performances by more than half a dozen incarnations of the Kenton Orchestra, and that should be enough to please any Kenton fan. Playing times (78:24, 76:21) are exceedingly generous, and although sound quality is variable (the Hollywood Palladium, of all places, doesn't fare well) it is on the whole quite respectable. A splendid listening experience to complement Michael Sparke's book.
The Les Hooper Band
Live at Typhoon
After a number of studio recordings, some better than others, composer / arranger / bandleader Les Hooper, best known in Hollywood for his writing for films and television, has taken off the gloves and come out swinging on the band's first concert album, the aptly titled Live at Typhoon, recorded in August 2009 at the popular Santa Monica restaurant. Hooper (at the keyboards) and the ensemble are cookin' throughout, even on such laid-back themes as Miles Davis' "Freddie Freeloader," the Gershwin brothers' "Summertime" and Hooper's "Cupcake" (on which he plays Fender Rhodes), "Falling," "Intersecting Lines" and "Hip & Cool" (the last with stellar brushwork by drummer Sinclair Lott).
Speaking of hip, Hooper adds the urbane "Guy Noir's Brother" (suave narration a la Garrison Keillor and trombone solo to match by Bruce Otto) and his clever arrangement of Frank Comstock's circus-like theme from the cartoon show "Rocky & Bullwinkle." Rounding out the engaging concert are the Average White Band's funky "Pick Up the Pieces" and three more dynamic essays by Hooper, the fiery "Barnburner," percolating "Too Much Coffee" and zesty "Ricky's Hot Salsa."
Hooper's band, comprised of topnotch studio musicians, teachers and session players from the Los Angeles area, is strong in every area, from Rick Baptist's unerring lead trumpet through the well-balanced trombones, reeds and rhythm section. Soloists are admirable, with much of the blowing space shared by Hooper, trumpeter Ron King, alto Jeff Driskill, tenors Kevin Garren and Mark Visher, trombonists Otto and Jacques Voyemant, guitarist Nick Brown and bassist Kenny Wild. Garren is especially effective on his feature, "Too Much Coffee," with Voyemant and Lott on "Intersecting Lines," King and Voyemant on the buoyant "Barnburner," while Baptist's stratospheric sorties help season "Ricky's Hot Salsa."
If you've heard Hooper's band before, you may safely discard all previous impressions, as Live at Typhoon is essentially unlike any of its previous recordings, even though Hooper's compositions and arrangements remain as fresh and invigorating as ever. There's simply more adrenalin flowing, more excitement and intensity on a concert date, which is one reason (among many) that Hooper's CD can be endorsed without pause.
A Minor Case of the Blues
Sea Breeze Vista
There are a large number of outstanding college jazz ensembles in California, and Riverside City College consistently ranks among the best of them. A Minor Case of the Blues showcases the RCC bands from 2006-09, comprised entirely, director Charlie Richard writes in the liner notes, of "real, full-time students enrolled in ensemble, theory, piano, improvisation, applied and general education classes." In other words, there are no ringers here, and the RCC ensemble clearly doesn't need any to achieve its purpose. Despite the inevitable changes in personnel, Richard's students are never less than admirable, gliding smoothly through a rigorous program that consists of nine original compositions, only two of whichStanley Turrentine's sauntering "Sugar" (arranged by the great Bob Florence) and Bill Russo's fiery ode to Cuba, "23 Degrees North, 82 Degrees West"have been performed often enough to be familiar to any but the most attentive listeners.
Matt Catingub's upbeat "Blues" leads off the album, preceding "Sugar," "23 Degrees" and engaging compositions by Michael Brecker ("African Skies"), Steven Schmidt ("Helios"), Pat Metheny / Lyle Mays ("The Gathering Sky"), Gordon Goodwin ("Game of Inches"), Jeff Ellwood ("The Flop," wherein a piano-less quartet replaces the band) and Chuck Owen ("Duets," the only number performed in concert). Ben Irom arranged "African Skies," Bob Curnow, a Metheny / Mays connoisseur, "The Gathering Sky." While the soloists (more than 25 in all) are as a rule commendable, none stands out above the others. What does impress is the unswerving tightness of brass and reeds and the aptitude and energy of the various rhythm sections.
The colorful "Duets," the album's longest track at 11:35, stands apart, owing to its concert-hall ambience, random audience response and tasteful solos by alto Bryan Parks, trombonist Bill Saulnier and guitarist David Cooper. It's a splendid entrée to the rhythmic finale, "23 Degrees North, 82 Degrees West." In fact, there's nothing on the menu that is less than pleasing. The RCC Jazz Ensemble is at the top of its game and assuredly intends to stay there.
Elmhurst College Jazz Band
The Elmhurst College Jazz Band gets right down to business on Harlem Nocturne, dashing briskly through Bret Zvacek's dynamic arrangement of the Earle Hagen jazz standard before vanquishing Bill Holman's classic mid 1950s arrangement of the Gershwins' "The Man I Love." And that's just for starters.
Unlike many ensembles at this level, the Elmhurst Band not only embodies well-coordinated brass and reeds but boasts a number of enterprising soloists, a standout rhythm section anchored by drummer Keith Brooks and a better-than-average vocalist, Bethany Bredehoft, who brightens the scene on four numbers (Sam Coslow's playful "Mr. Paganini," Joni Mitchell's "Court and Spark," the Gershwins' "Funny Face" and the standard "How High the Moon"). Holman, who was awarded an honorary doctorate by Elmhurst College in 2009, wrote the jaunty "No Joy in Mudville" and arranged the Johnny Burke / Jimmy Van Heusen ballad "But Beautiful," the last showcasing Adam Frank's no-nonsense tenor saxophone. Rounding out the refreshing studio date are Bob Mintzer's spunky "El Caborojeno," Les Hooper's lyrical "Midnight Bells" and Alan Broadbent's earnest groover, "Bebop and Roses." Mike Abene arranged "Funny Face," Patrick Williams "How High the Moon."
Besides Frank, the engaging soloists include alto Nick Martin, pianist Brad Macdonald, trumpeters Dave Kaiser and John Norman, trombonist Adam Thornburgh and baritone Sean Cunningham. Macdonald is featured on "Midnight Bells," while Kaiser and Thornburg are notably eloquent on "Bebop and Roses." And as noted, special props to the hard-working rhythm sectionBrooks, Macdonald, guitarist Chris Parsons, bassist Dan Parker. The Elmhurst Jazz Band and director Doug Beach have visited the recording studio often in the past several years, and it shows. Admirable band, exemplary album.
Purdue University Jazz Band 20032004
This wide-ranging CD by the Purdue University Jazz Band, recorded over four sessions in 2003-04, embodies as its centerpiece guest artist David Cutler's expansive and colorful tone poem, "Jigsaw," with the composer on solo piano during its enticing three-minutes-plus midsection. Nine of the 13 tracks were recorded in concert at Purdue's Loeb Playhouse, giving the ensemble no safety net in which to land, a test it passes with flying colors.
A second guest, Bob Lark, director of the splendid DePaul University Jazz Ensemble, contributes an engaging muted trumpet solo on Tom Matta's shuffling arrangement of George Gershwin's "Summertime." That's one of the highlights in an otherwise pleasing program that opens on a congenial note with Chet Bauch's inventive "Jose Takes Another Train," a Latinized version of the Billy Strayhorn classic. From there, the ensemble faces down and subdues original compositions by Ken Hanna, Sammy Nestico, Tom Harrell and pianist Ryan Hicks, Count Basie's "Every Tub," the Gene Krupa favorite "Leave Us Leap" and the standards "Body and Soul" (superbly arranged by Bob Florence), "Fly Me to the Moon" (ditto Tom Kubis), "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" and Cy Coleman / Peggy Lee's "That's My Style." The last two are sung by Sara Suppinger who is passable on "Style" but seems to be in over her head on "Warm."
Hicks, one of the ensemble's more persuasive soloists, shows promise as a writer with the likable "Cats," performed by a quartet whose other members are tenor saxophonist Alex Chiaghana, bassist Ben Hamilton and drummer Scott Holbert. That's the only number on which the full ensemble is not present. Among the other soloists, trumpeter Alex Fenske, tenor Cosmos Krejci ("Fly Me to the Moon," Nestico's "Queen Bee") and soprano Jake Noparstak ("Summertime") are especially effective. Sound and balance are essentially clear, the song selection first-rate, the ensemble sharp and well-rehearsed thanks to director Mo Trout. Well worth a listen.
Tracks and Personnel
Tracks: Brazilian Affair; A Child's Blues; Nothing But Soul; Randi; Before I Left; Flowers; Ol' Dude; Song for Sass; Solitude; Mother Time.
Personnel: Phil Woods: composer, alto sax. DePaul University Jazz Ensemble: Bob Lark: director; Chuck Parrish, Ethan Bulak, Tim Bales (1-4, 6, 7, 10), Scott Dickinson, Kazumasa Terashima, Joe Clark (5, 8, 9): trumpet, flugelhorn; Nick Mazzarella: alto sax; Corbin Andrick: alto sax, flute; Drew Pierson: tenor sax, flute, clarinet; Alex Beltran: tenor sax, flute; David Kromelow (1-4, 6, 7, 10): baritone sax; Steve Schnall (5, 8, 9): baritone sax, bass clarinet; Bryan Tipps, Rachel Levin, Andrew Hamilton: trombone; Skyler Johnson (1, 4-9), David Hagee (2, 3, 10): bass trombone; Justin Thomas: vibraphone; Terry Bartolotta: guitar; Dan Dufford (1, 4-9), Jim McNeely (2, 3, 10): piano; Joe Policastro (1, 4-9), Steve Gilmore (2, 3, 10): bass; Nick Kabat (1, 4-9), Bill Goodwin (2, 3, 10): drums.
This Is an Orchestra!
Tracks: CD1: Theme & Introduction; Lover; June Christy Award; Lonely Woman; Pete Rugolo Award; Impressionism; Eddie Safranski Award; Safranski; Shelly Manne Award; Artistry in Percussion; Stan Kenton Award; Peanut Vendor; Theme & Sign-Off; A Theme of Four Values; Young Blood; Intermission Riff; Cherokee; Take the "A" Train; Polka Dots and Moonbeams; Fearless Finlay; I'm Glad There Is You; Kingfish; Out of Nowhere; Limelight. CD2: Gone with the Wind; Intermission Riff; Sophisticated Lady; Lullaby of Birdland; It's a Big Wide Wonderful World; Give Me a Song with a Beautiful Melody; PrologueWest Side Story; Maria; Malaguena; What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life; No Harmful Slide Effects; Of Space and Time; For Better or Worster; Street of Dreams; Malaga; Artistry in Rhythm.
Personnel: CD1, Tracks 1-13: Stan Kenton: leader, piano; Ray Wetzel, Buddy Childers, Al Porcino, Chico Alvarez, Ken Hanna: trumpet; George Weidler, Art Pepper: alto sax; Bob Cooper, Warner Weidler: tenor sax; Bob Gioga: baritone sax; Milt Bernhart, Eddie Bert, Harry Betts, Harry Forbes: trombone; Bart Varsalona: bass trombone; Laurindo Almeida: guitar; Eddie Safranski: bass; Shelly Manne: drums; Jack Costanzo: bongos; June Christy: vocals. Tracks 14-24: Stan Kenton: leader, piano; Ed Leddy, Sam Noto, Vinnie Tanno, Lee Katzman, Phil Gilbert: trumpet; Lennie Niehaus: alto sax; Bill Perkins, Spencer Sinatra: tenor sax; Jack Nimitz: baritone sax; Bob Fitzpatrick, Carl Fontana, Kent Larsen: trombone; Don Kelly: bass trombone; Jay McAllister: tuba; Irving Rosenthal, Fred Fox: French horn; Ralph Blaze: guitar; Curtis Counce: bass; Mel Lewis: drums. CD2, Tracks 13:Stan Kenton: leader, piano; Dalton Smith, Bob Behrendt, Marvin Stamm, Bob Rolfe, Phil Grossman: trumpet; Gabe Baltazer: alto sax; Sam Donahue, Paul Renzi: tenor sax; Marvin Holladay: baritone sax; Wayne Dunstan: baritone sax, bass sax; Bob Fitzpatrick, Jack Spurlock, Bud Parker: trombone; Jim Amlotte: bass trombone; Dave Wheeler: bass trombone, tuba; Pierre Joseph: bass; Jerry L. McKenzie: drums; George Acevedo: Latin percussion. Track 4: Stan Kenton: leader, piano; Dalton Smith, Bob Behrendt, Marvin Stamm, Keith LaMotte, Gary Slavo: trumpet; Gabe Baltazar: alto sax; Don Menza, Ray Florian: tenor sax; Allan Beutler: baritone sax; Joel Kaye: baritone sax, bass sax; Bob Fitzpatrick, Bud Parker, Tom Ringo: trombone; Jim Amlotte: bass trombone; Dave Wheeler: bass trombone, tuba; Bucky Calabrese: bass; Dee Barton: drums; Jean Turner: vocals. Tracks 5 & 6: Same as 4 except Jim Knight, trumpet, for Joe Burnett; Charlie Mariano, tenor sax, for Don Menza; John von Ohlen, drums, for Dee Barton. Tracks 79: Dalton Smith, Ernie Bernhardt, Larry McGuire, Bob Rolfe, Sanford Skinner (Bud Brisbois may also have been present): trumpet; Dwight Carver, Gene Roland, Joe Burnett, Gordon Davison: mellophonium; Gabe Baltazar, alto sax; Sam Donahue, Paul Renzi: tenor sax; Marvin Holladay: baritone sax; Wayne Dunstan: baritone sax, bass sax; Bob Fitzpatrick, Paul Heydorff: trombone; Jim Amlotte, Dave Wheeler: bass trombone; Clive Acker: tuba; Pete Chivily: bass; Jerry L. McKenzie: drums; George Acevedo: Latin percussion. Track 10: Mike Vax, Jay Saunders, Dennis Noday, Ray Brown, Joe Marcinkiewicz: trumpet; Quin Davis: alto sax, flute; Richard Torres, Kim Frizell: tenor sax, flute; Willie Maiden: baritone sax; Chuck Carter: baritone sax, soprano sax, flute; John Worster: bass; John von Ohlen: drums; Ramon Lopez: conga. Tracks 11-16: Dennis Noday, Frank Minear, Bob Winiker, Paul Adamson, Mike Snustead: trumpet; John Park: alto sax, flute; Richard Torres, Chris Galuman: tenor sax, flute; Willie Maiden: baritone sax; Roy Reynolds: baritone sax, flute; Dick Shearer, Harvey Coonin, Lloyd Spoon: trombone; Mike Wallace: bass trombone; Phil Herring: bass trombone, tuba; John Worster: bass; Peter Erskine: drums; Ramon Lopez: Latin percussion.
Live at Typhoon
Tracks: Freddie Freeloader; Pick Up the Pieces; Cupcake; Summertime; Barnburner; Guy Noir's Brother; Hip & Cool; Too Much Coffee; Falling; Intersecting Lines; Ricky's Hot Salsa; Rocky & Bullwinkle.
Personnel: Les Hooper: leader, composer, arranger, piano; Rick Baptist, Robbie Schaer, Ron King, Dave Pittel: trumpet; Jeff Driskill, Mark Hollingsworth: alto sax, flute; Kevin Garren, Mark Visher: tenor sax; John Mitchell: baritone sax; Bruce Otto, Dave Ryan, Jacques Voyemant, Mike Millar: trombone; Nick Brown: guitar; Kenny Wild: bass; Sinclair Lott: drums.
A Minor Case of the Blues
Tracks: A Minor Case of the Blues; African Skies; Helios (A Cycle in Scenes); Sugar; The Gathering Sky; The Flop; Game of Inches; Duets; 23 Degrees North, 82 Degrees West.
Collective Personnel: Charlie Richard: director; Greg Ah Sue, Jose Aguirre, James Ana, Mark Green, Nate Haessly, Ricky Jimenez, Kyle Kennedy, David Mooring, Carlos Noriega, Henri Richardson, Stephanie Rittenhouse, Tim Robison, Jordan Rodriguez, Ben Sanchez, Matthew Stratton: trumpet; Jennie Baird, Kristy Bergeron, Natalie Carambia, Adam Chavira, Josh Franklin, Bryan Parks, Emily Peterson, Jonathan Porrino, Juliana Quinones, Erik Rafnson, James Reinbolt, Seth Roberts, Drew Sullivan, Bryan Wade, David Wall, Marcus Wilcher, Chijioke Uzuoaru: reeds; Ian Baroni, John Fresquez Jr., Philip Lares, Joe Martinez, Geovanni Mayoral, Bobby Perkins, Daniel Ridgway, Bill Saulnier, Taylor Smith, Benjamin Solis, Jonathan Tower, Eric Wallace, James White: trombone; David Cooper, Alicia Koch, Sean Longstreet, Alex Zimmer: guitar; Andrew Cohen, Rachel Garrison, Erasmo Rodriguez, Joshua Wood: piano; Kris Afflerbaugh, Chad Gray, Matthew Wyckoff, Tye Zamora: bass; Jonathan Ares, Jonathan Baer, Todd Benedict, Dustin Blair, Sean Fitzpatrick, Eric Hagstrom, Bahrum Moghadam, Hajime Nogami, Clayton Powell, Brandon Stuhl: drums; Francisco Michel, Jessica Miller, Steven Wagner: percussion; Isabella Reyes: violin.
Tracks: Harlem Nocturne; The Man I Love; You'll Have to Swing It (Mr. Paganini); Court and Spark; But Beautiful; El Caborojeno; Midnight Bells; No Joy in Mudville; Funny Face; Bebop and Roses; How High the Moon.
Personnel: Doug Beach: director; Tom Klein, David Kaiser, John Norman, Jennifer Marshall, Nathan Parker: trumpet; Nick Martin, Carolyn Jakes, Adam Frank, Ayn Brendel, Sean Cunningham: reeds; Adam Thornburg, Richie Palys, Steve Terradista, Tim Coleman: trombone; Chris Parsons: guitar; Brad Macdonald: piano; Dan Parker: bass; Keith Brooks: drums; Bethany Bredehoft: vocals.
Tracks: Jose Takes Another Train; Jigsaw; Tiare; Leave Us Leap; I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm; Shapes; The Queen Bee; That's My Style; Body and Soul; Every Tub; Playful Cats; Summertime; Fly Me to the Moon.
Personnel: Dr. Marion "Mo" Trout: director; Eric Couch, Alex Fenske, Michael Herkamp, Jonathon Christian, Caroline Swanson: trumpet, flugelhorn; Jake Noparstak: alto, soprano sax, clarinet; Erin Jackson: alto sax, flute; Alex Chiaghana, Cosmos Krejci, Kevin Davidson: tenor sax; James Wilkinson: baritone sax; Peter Bessette, Kristen Wilde, Joe Nield: trombone; Linwood Mielke: bass trombone; Ryan Hicks: piano; Kevin Chin: guitar; Ben Hamilton: bass; Scott Holbert, Albert Hidalgo: drums, percussion; Sara Suppinger: vocals. Guest artists: David Cutler (2): piano; Bob Lark (12): trumpet.