Kenny Shanker – Steppin’ UpAlto saxophonist and relative newcomer Kenny Shanker has recently released his inaugural CD “Steppin’ Up” on Posi-Tone Records.

In addition to Shanker on alto saxophone, this wonderful jazz recording features Lage Lund, guitar; Brian Fishler, drums; Yoshi Waki, bass and both Art Hirahara and Mike Eckroth on piano.

Although I could only offer a partial listening as of this writing, it was immediately clear that Kenny Shanker is another talented, young saxophonist to be featured on Posi-Tone Records. His sound is clear, lines are melodic and he has surrounded himself with a cast of outstanding musicians.

The recording is busting at the seams with no less than 10 compelling tracks. Somewhere around 2:00 into Fifth and Berry and then again during Quirk I became a fan of Kenny Shanker’s playing. His sound shimmers with clarity, bright yet full of life. On Prowl, he maintains his clearness of tone, yet seems a bit darker in tone – if only a bit.

Home Sweet Home is another winner on “Steppin’ Up” by Kenny Shanker. Fans of the jazz group “The Yellowjackets” will find a familiar sound and feel to this lovely tune.

The final cut Somewhere demonstrates Shanker’s ability to translate a melody through his horn. I suspect Shanker is a hell of a lead alto player as well.

You can find out more about “Steppin’ Up,” Kenny Shanker and other innovative recordings at