Some people figure it out, and some don’t. Someone taught alto saxist Kenny Shanker well by advising him to stick to the strengths of the alto sax, namely to keep it rooted in bebop, which he does well with his team of Daisuke Abe/g, Mike Eckroth/p, Yoshi Waki/b and Brian Fishler/dr on this collection of swinging standards and originals. Trumpeter Bill Mobley sits in for a few tunes, melding gorgeously with Shanker on a sublime “It Never Entered My Mind”, and blowing embers with the leader on “Orange and Gray” and the playful “Mirth”. Shanker’s tone is bel canto rich, gliding over the sublime “Cool Mint,” lyrical on “I’m Old Fashioned” and bouncing over the rhythm team on “Softly As In A Morning Sunrise” and festive “In Walked Bud”, with the classy and classical “Beautiful Things” giving Shanker a wondrous aria. This is why Selmers were created.