Patrick Cornelius Maybe Steps

Alto saxophonist Patrick Cornelius wrote some pretty personal notes to accompany the tracks on new album Maybe Steps. In the notes, he explains how certain life changes and experiences, involving marriage, death, depression and birth, motivated the songs he wrote and often you can often draw literal connections between the mood and shape of a piece and the reason for its creation. What prevents these connections from becoming too literal or distasteful are a really good band: Gerald Clayton on piano, Kendrick Scott on drums and Peter Slavov on bass, while guitarist Miles Okazaki joins in for a few tunes and pianist Assen Doykin plays on a track. Cornelius has a dry, nasal tone, like Miguel Zenon's, but a little flatter, and Clayton plays beautifully rich chords. He and Cornelius offer about an equal amount of soloing, sensitive and understated. And the most enchanting song, "Bella's Dreaming," emerges in imitation from a powerfully enchanting source: the sleep cycle of a baby. (Posi-Tone)