'I had no idea just starting up a small record company would be this time-consuming,' reflects guitarist, producer and composer Dan LaVelle. LaVelle, it seems, has had his hands full over the past few months setting up a new jazz label, Tableau Records, and preparing the release of its first CD, Jenerations by vocalist Jennifer Palor. A second CD with another singer, Canadian Gigi Marentette, is likely to be the next project for Tableau, which LaVelle and his partner in the venture, pianist Roel Garcia, are styling 'the new sound in creative jazz'. Their plan in the longer term is to record artists from all over Asia, and to that end LaVelle is already exploring options regionwide. 'Having Tableau Records on the scene now will provide a great boost in helping to introduce to a global audience a lot more great jazz talent from this part of the world, like Jennifer Palor and many others. I'm really excited about it,' says LaVelle. The company has its own website, www.tableaurecords.com , on which news of future releases will be posted. Jenerations is certainly an encouraging and eminently approachable start. Palor's face and voice will be familiar to Hong Kong audiences from past residencies at Hong Kong venues, including Cafe Deco and the Grand Hyatt's Champagne Bar where she first performed on arrival in Hong Kong in 1997. Originally from the Philippines, she has been here on and off for much of the time since, although she is now the resident singer at the Ritz Bar of the Portman Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Shanghai. The album is a nine-song collection comprising three standards arranged by LaVelle, four originals which he composed, and one composition each from Japanese pianist Yuki Makita and American multi-instrumentalist Paul McCandless to which he supplied lyrics. Performing with Palor, who multi-tracked her backing vocals as well as singing the leads, are LaVelle on guitars, Garcia on piano and keyboards, Rickard Malmsten on electric bass and Anthony Fernandez on drums. Special guest musicians include Makita on piano, acoustic bassists Justin Siu and Mike Carr, Paulo Levi on tenor saxophone, Mike Kurtz on trumpet, and Dulip 'DC' Wijesinha on percussion. Fly Me to the Moon and Stanley Turrentine's Sugar are both given a twist, and Palor sings LaVelle's Until I Find Some Light with feeling, nicely offset by Kurtz's trumpet fills. Wijesinha's additional input on percussion on Boracay helps evoke an Asian beach atmosphere appropriate for the track. Garcia's piano work, Malmsten's electric bass playing and Fernandez's drumming are characteristically excellent throughout. 'I think Jenerations is the perfect vehicle to showcase Jennifer Palor's vocal skills,' says LaVelle. 'We did a lot of planning for this CD to make sure everything had a nice creative edge. Jennifer is a real master at blending a contemporary approach to singing while retaining a solid grounding in more traditional jazz vocal styles.' Creative but still commercial, Jenerations is a strong initial release for a new label which may well make a considerable contribution to documenting jazz talent around the region.