Lanny Aplanalp has spent most of entire life playing music in the Los Angeles area. A few years ago the saxophonist and flutist released his high-quality quartet CD Natural Colors. Warm Winds features him playing with two different but equally talented groups Most of Warm Winds teams Lanny with pianist John Banister, bassist Jim Crutcher and drummer Paul Kreibich. "I have played with Jim Crutcher for many years," says the saxophonist. "I always enjoyed working with the late John Banister and Jim Crutcher who now lives in Florida . These quartet recordings were almost all completed in one take apiece since we had played together on a regular basis." Five selections ("Warm Winds," "Farpy Cleekle," "Starship A Minus One," "Sad Spring," and "Lofty") are from a previously unreleased project from the early 1980s. "Victor Feldman was one of the best players of all time, whether on piano, drums or vibes. Bob Magnusson has been a great bass player for many years. The guitarist, Von Klugh, is a first cousin of Earl Klugh while Benny Parks is a lesser-known drummer but a very good player and a few selections utilize background vocalists." With the great recording engineer Jim Mooney working on both sets, Lanny knew that the music was in very good hands. Other than three songs by Crutcher and one by Kreibich, all of the music was arranged and composed by the saxophonist. The opening selection, "To Celebrate," also exists as a Tom Kubis big band chart. Lanny, who often plays baritone sax when on sessions with larger ensembles, plays some beautiful baritone during this happy and thoughtful piece. The light Latin rhythms give the number the feel of a fresh bossa nova. "Warm Winds" starts with some mysterious sounding flute by Lanny, played in a duo with Parks (who, in addition to playing drums, is a colorful percussionist) before the full group comes in. The piece, which also features some fluent guitar by Klugh, Feldman's keyboards and background singers, has a particularly haunting melody. Jim Crutcher 's "Ysitios" features a happy theme, a calypso rhythm and tricky chord changes the tenor-saxophonist essays with ease."Rainbows Wish" is a ballad that really shows off the beauty of Lanny's tone. "I'm working with a lyricist on some of my songs and this one has some great lyrics." He switches to baritone for "Precious," a simple and catchy piece with a strong Latin tinge. Although the song has since been given a bridge, it also sounds quite complete in it's original form. Lanny's son Woody is a world class guitarist. When he was a little boy, he made up the words "Farpy Cleekle" which are used as the title of the next song. The most driving piece on the CD, this straight ahead bebop romp has excellent solos from all of the principals with Klugh's guitar playing recalling Grant Green. Lanny switches to alto for "Starship A Minus One," an original on which he interacts closely with violinist Don Palmer. Magnusson, Feldman and Klugh also have their say. On the jazz waltz "Sad Spring," the composer's flute is particularly passionate "Almond Eyes," which was written by Lanny for his daughter, has a memorable melody and chord changes that are quite attractive for soloists. This joyful bossa nova has been given a big band arrangement and it also has lyrics. The wistful ballad "Years Gone By" is notable for the warm tenor and Jim Crutcher 's accompaniment on bass which is a key in setting the mood. "Lofty" has a passionate melody reading, a double time guitar solo and some brilliant piano from Feldman. Paul Kreibich composed "Merle" in tribute to his wife. "A lot of people don't know that Paul is not only a great drummer but a very good composer and he plays a few other instruments quite well." Lanny's baritone and Banister take concise and melodic solos. The haunting ballad "Fay" was written by Jim Crutcher for his late wife. The bassist also wrote the final selection, which is simply called "E Minor Blues" and gives each of the musicians an opportunity to stretch out one last time. Lanny Aplanap has been an important part of the Los Angeles jazz scene for some time. He has played at virtually all of the local jazz clubs in L.A. and is constantly in demand as a big band reedman as well as a soloist. In recent times, in addition to his busy playing schedule, he has been writing original music and working with a lyricist who is turning quite a bit of his tunes into songs. There is a lot of diversity on Warm Winds, whether in it's instrumentation (with the leader heard on multiple instruments) or it's style. This is Lanny Aplanalp's definitive recording to date, the CD features two inspiring rhythm sections, and the result is highly enjoyable music.