Editors’ Notes Scott Jeppesen has played around California for more than a decade as a sideman for artists ranging from Dave Brubeck to Al Jarreau to Steve Miller. On El Guapo, the tenor saxophonist (who also appears on bass clarinet and soprano sax) makes his debut as a leader, taking a small band through a set heavy on his own compositions. The fun version of “Don’t Fence Me In” is a notable exception—it's one of two covers, and the trio format lets Jeppesen and his partners just go for it. A duo version of Richie Beirach’s ballad “Elm” is lovely, with noted guitarist Larry Koonse playing beautifully alongside Jeppesen here and elsewhere. Of the originals, the title track has a rich atmospheric feel that sounds like the theme to an old detective show, while the tricky “Great Odin’s Raven” sounds like it could have come from Wayne Shorter's pen. Armed with forward-thinking arrangements, a sharp compositional ear, and commensurate skill on his instrument, Jeppesen announces himself as someone with real jazz game.