Michael Blanco: In the Morning

This outstanding release certainly doesn’t sound like a debut album. Blanco, a repeat winner of the ASCAP Young Composer Award and a solid bassist to boot, has combined a dynamite sextet and 10 impressive modern-cool tunes for utterly winning results. The compositions share a dusky, imploring quality, with catchy, insistent hooks and compelling harmonies-several, such as the haunting “Point of View,” make the group sound like a miniature big band. It’s a remarkable introduction that leaves one eager to hear more.