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Mellow Jazz

John Hicks


John Hicks - Passion Flower
A piano giant of the New York jazz scene for 40 years, John could break your heart with a ballad, sweep you off your feet with an anthem, or boot you into boogeyin’ with one of his cookers. more...
Chris Anderson


Chris Anderson - Solo Ballads 1 & 2
“Limpidly and absolutely beautiful, this is a wonderful recording that seems tailor-made for late-night listening...” according to Cadence. more...
Chris Anderson


Chris Anderson - Live At Bradleys
Chris' wonderful trio performed at Bradley's, one of New York's best known jazz spots for pianists since 1969, for one thrilling week in May of 1994. more...
Tony Pancella & Larry Willis


Tony Pancella & Larry Willis - Alter Ego
A pair of legendary pianos, two extraordinary pianists and, between them, a breathtaking singleness of groove and invention. Like no other great American jazz pianist today, Larry's playing moves people's hearts and feet. Tony has the same status in Italy. more...
Larry Willis


The Redwine Trio - Baby Won't You Please Come Home
Take a classical clarinet virtuoso with a Louisiana-bred, lifelong passion for traditional jazz. Add a gypsy trained, died-in-the-wool Django-style guitarist plus the East Coast’s premier bassist for swing and blues. more...
Paul Murphy & Larry Willis


Larry Willis & Paul Murphy - The Powers Of Two
Ever hear a duo create the impact of a symphony? Larry and Paul do just that. With only piano and drums, they break through to a breathtaking new place in music, a space where jazz and classical and improv become indistinguishable. more...
Larry Willis


Larry Willis - Sanctuary
Larry’s on-fire piano leads a world-class quintet in a soaring, swinging exploration of matters of the soul and spirit. Slide Hampton says, “Man, Larry’s playin’ like he’s on a mission!” more...
Paul Meyers & Santi Debriano


Paul Meyers & Santi Debriano - Spirit and Samba
Playing the New York jazz scene together for over a decade, Paul and Santi have grown into one of jazz’s great duos. Paul’s flawlessly warm guitar sound blends Wes Montgomery’s bluesy soulfulness with Jobim’s Brazilian sensuality. more...
John Previti


John Previti Quartet - Swinging Lullabyes For My Rosetta
Quietly cooking melodic jazz and swing favs led by the rock-solid bassist who also ably anchored our Joe Stanley and John Cocuzzi sessions. Previti made history for 18 years backing up guitar giant Danny Gatton. more...
Bob Kindred and Larry Willis


Bob Kindred and Larry Willis - Gentle Giant Of The Tenor Sax
Just back from a little Jimmy Scott recording date, Larry Willis raved about this gorgeous sounding tenor player he’d found. Wow, was he on the money! Right from the start of their session, I was startled by Kindred’s amazing down-home blues power. more...
Gerard D'Angelo


Gerard D'Angelo Trio - Not What My Hands Have Done
The evocative balladry and quiet swing of a great piano trio—like Bill Evans’ or our own Frank Kimbrough’s —really gets to me. That's why I was knocked out by Gerard. He locks effortlessly with his trio mates, Jay Anderson and Jeff Hirschfield. more...
Consuela Lee


Consuela Lee - Piano Voices
If you’re a fan of piano greats like Mary Lou Williams, Dorothy Donegan, Art Tatum and Chris Anderson, Consuela’ll be right up your alley. With her drummer, Sangoma Everett, she does Ellington, Waller, Kern and Berlin to pianistic perfection—and writes ensnaring originals. more...
Monica Worth


Monica Worth and the Larry Willis Trio - Never Let Me Go
When I first heard Monica perform, I was immediately struck by her voice—a warm, caressing alto with echoes of Rosemary Clooney and Morganna King. I was seduced by her repertoire, a gently nostalgic selection of great American songs. more...
Harold Ashby


Harold Ashby - Just For You
Hey Ellington and Ben Webster fans, check out Ashby’s blues-drenched, melodic tenor sax. You just know that jaw-dropping sound came from a lifetime of paying dues. In 1950, Ash moved to Chicago to become Ben Webster’s protégé and record with those Chess blues legends. more...
Best Of Mapleshade Vol. 1


Best Of Mapleshade Vol. 1 - The Art Of The Ballad
I love the way a great jazz player can stop your breath with an impossibly slow and tender ballad. I spent several happy days combing though our master tapes to assemble these drop-dead gorgeous ballads. more...
Thurman Green


Thurman Green - Dance Of The Night Creatures
Jamming together in the early ’60s, trombone virtuoso Thurman Green and bari sax giant Hamiet Bluiett swore they’d make a great album someday. That promise bore soulful fruit here—30 years later. more...
Sunny Sumter


Sunny Sumter with the Larry Willis Quartet - Sunny
Over the past 3 years, I’ve watched Sunny mature into one of the East Coast’s most soulful ballad singers. So much so that I jumped at the chance to record this CD, her second. Larry Willis’ soulful piano chops bought out Sunny’s most gorgeous interpretations of Sarah, Billie and Stevie Wonder songs. more...
Euforia


The Euforia Trio - Euforia
Think of the delicate percussive subtlety of a Jobim samba. Think of a quiet but irresistibly-swinging Wes Montgomery guitar solo. Put them together: that’s Euforia, the mellow, stunningly original bass-guitar-drums Brazilian trio. more...
John Hicks


John Hicks - Trio Plus Strings
If you don’t know John, you’re missing one of the greatest living jazz pianists. His originals are dramatic and infectiously swinging— deeply moving ballads, delicately swinging waltzes, and out and out cookers. more...
Mark Taylor


Mark Taylor Quintet - Quietland
Though the sound of the horn is impassioned, we'd never thought about doing a jazz French horn session. But Mark's soulful solos at our Ebony Brass session blew us and Bluiett away. more...
Clifford Jordan


Clifford Jordan - The Mellow Side Of Clifford Jordan
An intimate glimpse at the Chicago tenor sax giant at the height of his earthy, blues-steeped sound. I recorded these historic duo and trio sessions during 1989 and 1990. They feature Clifford jamming with his closest musical friends, including Julian Priester, Larry Willis, Chris Anderson and Carter Jefferson. more...
Rebecca Kane


Rebecca Kane Sextet - A Deeper Well
Rebecca’s all star sextet—including Jack Walrath, Steve Novosel, and Steve Berrios—does her proud. Sonically, a dazzling percussion soundscape envelopes the ringing warmth of her Steinway. The woody resonance of the plucked bass is perfect; the trumpet’s staccato attack is two feet in front of you. more...
King / Blueitt Trio


King/Blueitt Trio - Makin' Whoopee
Hamiet Bluiett’s heartfelt tribute to the Nat King Cole Trio—by far the most original I’ve ever heard. Bluiett describes his inspiration: “I wanted to focus on Nat as a pianist, not as a vocalist. He was a formidable pianist, ‘anointed’ as they say in the church. more...
C.I. Williams


C.I. WIlliams Quintet - When Alto Was King
C.I.’s alto sound is warm and intimate. He combines the huge sweet tone of Johnny Hodges with Benny Carter’s edge and Charlie Parker’s raw speed and bluesiness. more...
Datevik


Datevik with the Larry Willis Quartet - Ballads From The Black Sea
Don’t let the title fool you. This lady does good old favorite American ballads like “Sophisticated Lady” and “A Child Is Born” with new emotion—and she cooks like no other young singer on uptempo standards like “My Favorite Things” and “Perdido”. more...
Avi Lebo


Avi Lebo - Shades of Brass
If both Larry Willis and trombone legend Slide Hampton think this guy is good, you know he can play. The session was elegant: Slide’s gutty, swinging ’bone contrasted gorgeously with Avi’s super-warm, super-mellow tone. The two interweaving ’bones soar over Jimmy Cobb’s shimmering cymbals and Larry’s richer-than-Godiva piano chords. more...
Dave Bargeron Quartet


Dave Bargeron Quartet - Barge Burns...Slide Flies
When Larry Willis was hot to do a reunion with his old trombonist pal from Blood, Sweat & Tears days, I didn't hesitate. If you've heard Barge's burning solos on BS&T hits, you understand. For this CD, Larry and Barge laid down an intimate, set of pure, uncommercial jazz—and Mapleshade set a new standard for 'bone sonics. more...
Norris Turney Quartet


Norris Turney Quartet - Big Sweet N' Blue
Our historic recording of the ballads and blues of an alto player whose sound I can't forget, the man the Duke found to replace Johnny Hodges. more...
John Hicks


John Hicks Trio - Single Pedal Of A Rose
I love the warm romantic blend of piano, flute and bass. If you love flute ballads, you’ll wear the aluminum off this CD. Hicks’ impassioned solos are superb; Walter Booker’s bass adds delicate, dancing-on-tiptoes rhythms. more...
Kendra Shank


Kendra Shank with the Larry WIllis Quartet - Afterglow
This is my idea of an intimate, straight-to-the-heart jazz ballad singer. She’s somewhat in the vein of Diana Krall, but maybe a little more passionate. Shirley Horn brought Kendra to Mapleshade, a singer-guitarist she discovered while on tour in Seattle. more...
Jack Walrath and Larry Willis


Jack Walrath and Larry Willis - Portraits In Ivory And Brass
Mellow jazz and my favorite mood CD: lyrical and powerfully moving. I hear a warm, dark-toned, soulful trumpeter—Mingus’ last trumpet star—making magic with the master of romantic jazz piano. more...
Larry Willis


Larry Willis - Solo Spirit
I’m still blown away by the majesty and quietly swinging power of Larry’s solo piano on this, his first Mapleshade session. For 20 years, he’d wanted to record his jazz interpretations of the church music he grew up with. Here’s the fruit of those creative years. more...
Bobby Battle Quartet


Bobby Battle Quartet - The Offering
Here’s a rare chance to hear David Murray in a relaxed setting, caressing his big, lush, tenor sax sound. That’s just what Bobby’s shimmering drums bring out here, ably abetted by Larry Willis’ mellow, soulful piano and Santi DeBriano’s unshakable bass line. more...
Clifford Jordan


Clifford Jordan Quartet - Live At Ethell's
Nothing I’ve recorded is closer to my heart than this, my first collaboration with Clifford. We recorded live at a posh jazz club in Baltimore for three great nights. Fresh off the New York jazz circuit, Clifford’s quartet was locked-in, relaxed and happily inspired by a house full of enthusiastic fans. more...
The Frank Kimbrough Trio


The Frank Kimbrough Trio - Lonely Woman
I have a hell of a time finding quiet, mellow, introspective piano that’s not elevator music. Thank goodness Shirley Horn dropped this Trio off right at my door step. She told me Frank’s slow and passionate ballads could make her cry. more...