Bright and Sparkling. This disc, as with all of the other Naxos Jazz releases, is impeccably recorded. The cymbals and guitar sound sharp and superbly defined. The bass is appropriately round without being muddy. The saxophones are polished with no reverb. The mix is very fine, with no one instrument dominating the sonic terrain.
Compositions. There is only one standard on this disc, Jerome Kern’s “Dearly Beloved.” The remainder of the compositional duties are divided among Koonse, Oleszkiewicz, and Tullius. The songs are tastefully composed and arranged and range from the hot (“Look To The East”) to the ethereal (“Maru’s Dream”). The use of the guitar as the center provides the overall ensemble sound with a softer, suppler texture than would be true of a piano-based band. This music reminds me of Alan Broadbent if he were a guitarist.