Joshua Bayer: Lines and Grooves

D.C.-area bassist Joshua Bayer delivers a straightforward bop effort with Lines and Grooves (Jazzheads). Like much of the material from the ’60s by Charlie Mariano and Phil Woods, this is an alto-quartet date. (It’s perhaps not coincidental that alto saxophonist Marty Nau bears more than passing resemblance to those figures.) Bayer’s bass playing is solid, and his tunes, while none too memorable, do afford ample room for blowing. Keyboardist Bobby Sykes provides the welcome sound of a Fender Rhodes on much of the album, lending the proceedings a looser, groovier air. There’s no new ground being tread here, but Bayer and company have established a firm foothold on a certain tradition, and it works.