Jimmy Ponder: Something To Ponder

This is one of those something-for-everybody CDs (e.g., a blues, some ballads and standards) that succeeds on every count. Guitarist Ponder’s playing is a real treat for the head and heart and his rhythm section digs in with just the right amount of passion. Pianist Mark Soskins gently sways the Buddy Johnson hit, “Since I Fell for You” (which seems to be getting a lot of well-deserved attention lately) and swings “Satin Doll.” Bassist Peter Washington and drummer Roger Humphrey provide solid and unobtrusive support throughout this seven-track disc. Among the selections are a gorgeously relaxed “Moonlight in Vermont” (shades of Johnny Smith) and a super uptempo “Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise.” – Miles Jordan