Roland Guerin, Groove, Swing & Harmony II (Jazz Maniacs)

Bassist Roland Guerin’s second installment exploring Groove, Swing & Harmony gets off to a sunny start. Saxophonist Quamon Fowler sets the light mood before digging in and adding a cascade of soulful notes and ideas to Guerin’s composition, “I’ll Stand Alone.” The versatile bassist picks up the electric instrument for this numbers as he does on six of the nine selections on an album of mostly original material. On sax is Wess “Warm Daddy” Anderson, blowing alto in a style that is true to his moniker. The standard, “Alone Together,” opens with a simple line from the leader’s round upright and he later returns for a playfully tasteful and good-spirited solo. There’s also an acoustic setting for the bassist’s self-penned ballad, the lovely “Fall.” The drum chair that John Jones occupies for most of the disc is taken over by James Alsanders for this trio endeavor with pianist Mike Esneault. Guerin delivers a beauty of a solo here. While Guerin is definitely known for packing both acoustic and electric basses, he—as well as Esneault—is plugged in more than expected on an album that offers straight-up and funky jazz with kinda smooth tinges.