96kHz/24-bit, FLAC; Impulse! 002844202 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)

Three years on from his Impulse! debut, Aria, prodigiously talented jazz pianist Fortner returns with this set, combining covers and self-written numbers, backed by his regular collaborators bassist Ameen Saleem and drummer Jeremy ‘Bean’ Clemons. There’s an easygoing assurance about both his playing and the way the three work together, whether opening with Merv Griffin’s ‘Wheel Of Fortune’ theme or on the tight swing of ‘Pep Talk’. But the album can deliver some unexpected delights, such as the interplay of the trio and Fortner’s atonal playing on Saleem’s ‘Beans And Cornbread’ or the way Fortner bounces off Roy Hargrove’s trumpet on ‘Monk’s Medley’. It’s a delight, sounding like a well-sorted live set and treated to a crisp, pacey and highly detailed recording, the trio – again with Hargrove – going out in style on Benny Green’s ‘Phoebe’s Samba’. AE

Sound Quality: 85%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

Recorded at Sear Sound, this 96kHz file shows no aliasing or other obvious distortions. The ~40kHz bandwidth is not required to capture the 10-12kHz range of the piano but is usefully occupied by the flugelhorn and trumpet. PM