An accomplished player with an engaging, swinging style, Sheryl Bailey satisfies straight-ahead listeners on her sixth outing as a leader. Opening with the midtempo swinger “An Unexpected Turn,” she solos with relaxed aplomb while her stellar accompanists (pianist Jim Ridl, bassist Gary Wang and drummer Shingo Okudaira) cook on a low flame underneath. The gently swinging waltz-time title track-Bailey’s “prayer of hope for those of us walking around with the broken hearts that remain after losing a loved one to cancer or a long illness”-highlights her adeptness at chord melodies while revealing a distinct Pat Martino influence in her single-note lines. “A Muse Sings” is her beautiful ode to the late guitarist Jimmy Wyble, while “Masa’s Bag” is an uptempo blues-tinged romp named for fellow guitarist Masa Sasaki.
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