Transitions brings together bassist, composer and bandleader Marcus Shelby’s love for large ensemble jazz, African-American history, and baseball, particularly the Negro Leagues role in our history. The music certainly captures the vibe of the time but does it in a way that feels as fresh even though its created in a moment that is very different from the periods that inspired it. The 16-piece orchestra, mix of veteran players like violinist Mads Tolling, to 18-year-old trumpeter Kate Williams, is powerful, soulful and swings hard without sounding like a knockoff of the big bands that preceded it. Shelby does a profound job of keeping things on point in that way. The project nicely covers tunes by Charles Mingus and Duke Ellington, in addition to Shelby’s very sturdy tunes. Singer Tiffany Austin brings the vocal power to the production, working seamlessly with the instruments of the quality players on this effort.