Warren Wolf, Wolfgang (Mack Avenue)
In a succession of vibraphonists that began with Lionel Hampton and Red Norvo, Wolf has come into his own. His new album finds him with one rhythm section of veterans—pianist Benny Green, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Lewis Nash—and another of young musicians from his own quartet. He and the increasingly impressive pianist Aaron Diehl play duets on two pieces. With Wolf on marimba, the two defy categories in variations on the 19th century trumpet chops buster “The Carnival of Venice.” In “Wolfgang” and “Grand Central” (unrelated to the John Coltrane piece of that name) Wolf the composer writes straightforward melodic invention that is also a hallmark of his soloing. His improvisation on “Frankie and Johnny” is a bluesy joy.