New Stories insures that the music swings and everyone solos. Their composed tunes have a built-in drama to hold your interest. From the modern mainstream, the ensemble speaks out through impressionism as well as with concrete formulae. Formed in 1988, the Seattle trio has two earlier recordings. Marc Seales and Doug Miller contribute poignant melodies that serve as a springboard for improvisation. Ernie Watts' silky soft tenor saxophone tone is right at home with this ensemble; his is a combination of intensity and a veteran's smooth relaxed manner. It's like sitting through the presentation of a seasoned salesperson who believes in what he's selling. Yes, Watts means what he plays and plays what he means. Herbie Hancock's "I Have a Dream" finds the trio weaving melodies with built in intensity; Seales and Miller both offer lyrical emphasis. Pat Metheny's "In Her Family" has a folksy charm to it that highlights the pianist's fluid right hand articulation. Made for improvised linear thought, the piece allows for rapid movements up, down and around the keyboard. The quartet comes together on "Speakin' Out" to do just that - individually and collectively, up-tempo, and with fire in their eyes.