Sometimes, music defies oral or written description. It’s best just to listen. That’s the feeling created by Bill Cantrall and Axiom with Live at the Kitano (Up Swing Records, 2012). Recorded in 2010 at the Kitano Hotel in New York City, this recording is about as close as one can get to being there.

A follow-up to Cantrall’s successful Axiom (2007), the set brings back most of the players from that ensemble, performing six Cantrall originals and one Cole Porter song. The performance and the audience’s reaction are what one would expect in a straightforward jazz club.

The selections are “B.B.M,” “After You,” “Sharphead,” “Shaniece,” “Like I Said,” “Axiom” and “Maker’s.” With the exception of the very brief closing number, the songs range from nearly nine minutes to a blink shy of 24, totaling more than 75 minutes. Each song presents strong interplay among the musicians, audience response to solos as well as the end of each piece.

The core ensemble are Cantrall on trombone, Stacy Dillard on tenor and soprano saxophones, Rick Germanson on piano, Gerald Cannon on bass and Darrell Green on drums. Alto saxophonist Mike DiRubbo and trumpeter Freddie Hendrix step in for “Axiom.”

Cantrall joined the New York jazz scene in the late 1990s. His early influences are Curtis Fuller, Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter and many others. He studied music and engineering at Northwestern University and gained experience in Chicago’s club scene.

In mathematical terms, “axiom” is a self-evident truth that requires no explanation. That, perhaps, is the best description of Live at the Kitano.