88.2kHz/24-bit, FLAC; ECM 5726302 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)

The latest from a stellar group – drummer Gerald Cleaver, pianist David Virelles, bassist Reuben Rogers, and trumpeter Stanko – December Avenue is a collection of beautifully rendered tone-poems. There is a great delicacy to the musicianship – they are all fully engaged with their bandmates – and each track seems approached as if they have all the time in the world, and all the space they could possibly need to explore it. Even at his most upbeat, Stanko has a sweetly mournful quality. The opposite of frantic jazz, this collection is maturely intelligent, emotionally resonant, aesthetically unassailable, and gorgeously executed, without a hint of cliché. It draws you in, lifts you up, carries you along, and ultimately deposits you in a better place: the perfect accompaniment for romantic interludes and midnight reveries. Plus, to my ears, it’s a spectacularly good-sounding recording. BW

Sound Quality: 90%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

Recorded at Studios La Buissonne in the South of France, the spectral energy of Tomasz Stanko’s trumpet and Gerald Cleaver’s brushstroke percussion fills the ~40kHz bandwidth, but note spuriae at 19kHz and 38kHz [black trace]. PM