This Madison "café jazz" quartet doesn't lack for instrumentalists who know how to interpret vintage jazz. The husband/wife team that founded this band - Mary Gaines and Chris Wagoner - are Grade-A session musicians who have supported artists like Smashing Pumpkins and Freedy Johnston.
The Groovy Sessions gives loving treatment to classic material from Ellington, Monk and Gershwin. The ukulele and vocal harmonies on Harry Nilsson's "Are You Sleeping" are a highlight.
But the musicians' talent left me wanting original compositions. The Stellanovas body of original recorded work is thin - six tracks across two albums.
Despite its technical strength, The Groovy Sessions feels like a safe haven, and with the Stellanovas' formidable credentials, why would they want to hang out there?