As with his previous effort, 2015’s A Million Colors in Your Mind, pianist Cyrus Chestnut‘s second Highnote release, 2016’s Natural Essence, finds him communing with two veteran artists for a deeply heartfelt and swinging session. Whereas last time Chestnut was joined by bassist David Williams and drummer Victor Lewis, here he has conscripted the talents of bassist Buster Williams and drummer Lenny White. Both Williams and White are industry icons with decades of playing experience and credits with such luminaries as Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Art Blakey, Woody Shaw, Tony Williams, McCoy Tyner, and many others. While many of Chestnut‘s recordings lean toward the strait-laced and straight-ahead approach to modern jazz, he is by no means a reserved musical traditionalist. On the contrary, while he is adept at swinging acoustic jazz, one of his most formative experiences was as a member of vocalist Betty Carter‘s trio. A genre-bending maverick, Carter purportedly encouraged Chestnut to try new things and approach even the most well-known standard in an unexpected way.