Unjust rewards you with great tunes and creates its own world.
And for sure there are engrossing straightahead sounds here landing in a world where Wynton Marsalis is the presiding spirit given his massive contribution to acoustic swinging jazz for decades.
US bassist Ben Wolfe is known for his work with Harry Connick and both Branford and Wynton Marsalis. I recall hearing Wolfe within the boisterous Connick big band making a firm impression at a show in the Royal Albert Hall in the 1990s. He has been making records under his own name since then. But it's been some four years since his last album, Fatherhood. If you are into the more prolific Boris Kozlov you will feel right at home here.
New Orleans icon trumpeter Nicholas Payton makes his presence felt from the first notes of Unjust on 'The Heckler'. And there's sinuously appealing vibes from Blue Note recording artist Joel Ross on 'Hats Off to Rebay' that sounds like a tune you'd hear in the soundtrack of a film where cat burglars are shinning down a drainpipe. The piece gets a shorter reprise later. Ross also steals the show on 'The Corridor'.
The heavily vibes flavoured album takes a pensive turn on 'Lullaby in D' with a stand-out Nicole Glover sax line. The Unjust personnel is completed by saxist Immanuel Wilkins, while pianist Addison Frei, whom you may recall from a fine Mark Lewandowski album a few years ago, and the great Orrin Evans alternate. Aaron Kimmel - excellent with singer Naama Gheber on 2020's Dearly Beloved - is on drums.
Overall an album that belongs as much to the jazz made 50 years ago (perhaps it's too retro for some) as it does today intersecting between the world of the Modern Jazz Quartet and the burnished tones of Art Farmer in benevolent congress. The pick of the tracks is in the beautiful ache the horns create on 'Sparkling Red' where Wolfe solos, a soft muffled tone to his knowing sound, plucking notes from the air in reliably stately and authoritative fashion to the manner born. SG