Denis DiBlasio/Brian Betz Project
This swinging double CD shows off two sides of a generation-bridging collaboration. The first disc balances euphoric burners with earnest ballads as DiBlasio, former musical director of the Maynard Ferguson Orchestra, weaves delightful melodies on baritone saxophone and flute, dancing around his young protégé’s chunky guitar rhythms and nimble solos. The live quintet set featured on the second disc is more uneven, with the rhythm section seemingly left behind during some of DiBlasio’s vigorous bebop excursions. But when the larger group clicks, as in the red-hot “Wormburner,” it’s an electric blowing session that almost matches the first half’s more subtle charms.