Magnolia is the debut release from southern California saxophonist and composer Ian Tordella. The album features Tordella in quintet and quartet formats along with guitarist Jeff Miles, bassist Jeff Denson, drummer Brian McLaughlin, and German pianist Florian Weber. Tordella's compositions range from rock-influenced post-jazz, to contemporary ballads, to swinging modern jazz. The playing, while never blatantly departing from form and melody, is adventurous and decidedly modern. Bassist Denson and pianist Weber (both members of Lee Konitz New Quartet) work seamlessly as a unit with Los Angeles drummer McLaughlin. Weber, who has toured in both the classical and jazz worlds, is a showcase of blazing technique and intriguing melodic ideas. Guitarist Miles lends unique color to the melodies as well as an angular solo on the second track. Tordella's striking improvisations range from understated to dense and winding, frequently making use of the saxophone's extended upper register.