Altoist Sadao Watanabe is considered one of Japan's top jazzmen. Some of his recordings are quite commercial but this particular one finds him paying tribute to Charlie Parker with what was called "the great jazz trio:" pianist Hank Jones, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Tony Williams. The seven selections (four Bird compositions and three standards often played by Parker) are all given strong treatment by the quartet. Watanabe's true love is bebop and his solos here are very much in that tradition yet displaying a personality of his own.
The atmospheric, melancholy, somewhat medieval soundscapes of Bel Canto (Italian for "beautiful song") mix an essentially synth-based, chamber-rock sound with a wide range of orchestral and folk instruments and have been compared to the Cocteau Twins. The group hails from Norway and consists of ethereal vocalist Anneli Marian Drecker, plus Nils Johansen and Geir Jenssen.