Together these names stand as the best of this next generation. They are improvisers, melodists, and arrangers. Some are bandleaders, some soon to be, and they’re a tight bunch: long-time friends, including a few who have studied together, and all of them have played together, on stages and in sessions. Now, they are all featured on an exciting project—NEXT Collective—an ensemble recording that documents this new jazz age. “There was a point in the sessions for this album,” says producer Chris Dunn, “when I looked around the room and suddenly realized the level of talent packed in there together, the cream of the new crop, so to speak—and how much they are invested in jazz and also soaked in the music going on around them.