Mostly in Blue

It wasn’t until 1969 when, at 17, George Cotsirilos enrolled at UC Berkeley and got interested in jazz and began playing the guitar. In the 1980s, he worked and recorded with esteemed Bay Area drummer Eddie Marshall before getting a law degree and practicing and teaching law. After three acclaimed trio albums since 2006 with bassist Robb Fisher and drummer Ron Marabuto, they hooked up with pianist Keith Saunders to explore what Cotsirilos describes as “a little different sound connected to the tunes I was writing.” The results are astounding. “Wes Side Blues” isn’t a blues but a high-speed tribute to Wes Montgomery. They show their superb bop chops on the uptempo “Crazeology,” while “Lights Out,” another original (“bedtime music of the most enticing sort” says Cotsirilos), reveals a calmer side of the group. The only problem I have with this otherwise excellent album is the aggressive drumming throughout, especially all the Latin-style clacking on the otherwise delightful “I Wish I Knew.”