Jeff Johnson?s latest release, Suitcase, pulls from melodies and tunes written during an earlier era of his career. With long-time collaborator Hans Teuber on saxophones, bass clarinet and flute and newer music partners Steve Moore on piano and Eric Eagle on drums, Johnson leads the listener through a voyage of contrasted stylistic outings. From the chaotic yet controlled conversations in ?Shake It Off? and ?Picasso? to the serene pastures painted by Teuber in ?Artist? and ?Kiwi,? the group carries us from free-form improvisation to regal melodious planes. In ?Scene West? and ?Illuminati,? the group?s more groove-based playing emerges, as Johnson and Eagle form a primal pocket. On the release, the Hall of Fame Seattle bassist pieces together a forward-looking string of originals, with conversational improvisation the clear focus of the album.