Don Wilner is well known in these parts as the house bassist at the Van Dyke Café, the glue at the center of Miami's forever endangered jazz scene. He has recently issued a new album of jazz standards, Figments of My Imagination, that's heavy on the Brazilian, with several classics by Antonio Carlos Jobim, including "Mohave" and "A Felicidade." The music is consistently strong, bearing a warm chamber-jazz sound, and Wilner shows off his ample chops by bowing and plucking his many solos with cool precision. He's aided by a supporting cast that includes local jazz stalwarts such as singer Rose Max and pianist Mike Orta, the latter delivering transcendent performances that seemingly soar off the disc. Check out Wilner's version of Duke Ellington's "In a Sentimental Mood," a slow, swinging groove that proves our local jazz scene doesn't suffer a complete lack of talent.
performs with Rose Max at 9:00 p.m. Sunday, February 13, and Mike Orta at 9:00 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, February 14-15, at Van Dyke Café, 846 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach. Tickets cost $5. Call 305-534-3600.