Here is another compilation by a relatively new label that's intended not only to draw attention to the label's artists but uses established young stars to do so. As much as I don't like compilations as a marketing tool, this one actually sounds as though some thought was put into its track listing, even if the majority of the "young lions" listed on the cover aren't Arkadia artists.
The problem with this compilation is that the established artists who are used to shine a light on the Arkadia artists would make me want to buy albums from the established stars. Kurt Elling does his best John Hendricks on Joanne Brackeen's "What's Your Choice, Rolls Royce?", but he's the best thing about the song. Same goes for Nicholas Payton's turn on Brackeen's "Pink Elephant Magic" and James Carter's inspired turn on Benny Golson's "My Favorite Things". Ravi Coltrane totally dominates Brackeen's version of "Over the Rainbow". While Don Braden and Chris Potter are the highlight of Joris Teepe's "Brother Braden".
Of the Arkadia artists, only saxophonist T.K. Blue rises to the occasion, trading inspired solos with young vibe man Stefon Harris on Blue's "Dance of the Nile". His funky, contemporary arrangement and his setting the tone for Harris to follow are in sharp contrast to the rest of the album.