Christoph Spendel: Flight 408

The sixth solo release for Special EFX keyboardist Christoph Spendel is as breezy and wide-open as its title, Flight 408 (Blue Flame/BMG 398 50192; 62:03). Spendel’s skilled, playful acoustic piano work is at the center of happy soul pieces like the album’s laid-back title track, and the bouncy single, “Sunny.” Spendel’s arrangements incorporate modern urban elements-like the groove grounding “Night Speak”-but the effects revolve lightly around Spendel’s piano, lending a sophisticated feel. The keyboardist’s doodling, spacious melodies (like the resonant “The Moment I Remember”) and sparkling production quality also contribute to Flight 408’s elegant, easygoing brand of cool.