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Stanley Clarke (c) Guillaume LaurentAn inspired and innovative player, Stanley Clarke sits alongside a select few as one of the most influential bassists in contemporary music. From his early gigs with the likes of Pharoah Sanders, Art Blakey, Gil Evans, and Dexter Gordon to his groundbreaking work with Chick Corea in Return to Forever, to his more recent solo and collaborative projects, Clarke has distinguished himself as a master of straight-ahead jazz, fusion, funk, rock, and RB.

Satoko Fujii (c) Stefan PostiusSince emerging on the scene in the mid-’90s, pianist Satoko Fujii has quickly established herself as one of the most compelling and exciting voices in avant-garde jazz.Influenced by classical, Japanese folk music, rock, and beyond (as well as jazz), Fujii’s recorded output reflects the wildly diverse scope of her talents and interests: solo piano pieces, big band collaborations, duets with trumpet and violin, trio arrangements, and progressive rock/jazz collections.In Krakow in November (NotTwo) is a duo album which re-teams Satoko with her trumpeter husband, Natsuki Tamura.

Delfeayo MarsalisFew families can lay claim to a musical legacy as mythic in sweep as that of the Marsalis clan. Trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis more than lives up to the high standards set by his older and (for now, at least#133;) more widely known siblings. Marsalis has leant his superb J.J. Johnson-flavored stylings to projects with the likes of Abdullah Ibrahim, Art Blakely’s Jazz Messengers, and Ray Charles. Delfeayo’s own solo albums are engaging and impressive works, including the recent release, Minions Domain (Troubador Jass). 

Having showcased his extraordinary talents on projects with the likes of John McLaughlin, Shawn Lane, Ginger Baker, and V. Selvaganesh, Jonas Hellborg has long been held in high regard as one of contemporary music’s preeminent progressive jazz and World fusion bassists.Jonas recently shared with JAZZed what artists and tracks are getting the most repeat listens on his mp3 player.

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