Chris Cheek: Blues Cruise

This warm session puts saxophonist Cheek in front of the Brad Mehldau Trio for a comfortable program of originals and rediscovered chestnuts. The group strikes an appealing middle ground between old-school and modernist interpretative styles: Cheek is lyrical and swinging on tenor, alto and soprano sax, keeping his lines clean and direct while the trio flows and sparkles beneath. Three particularly striking tracks find Mehldau on Fender Rhodes rather than piano, augmenting the disc’s feel-good vibe.