Women generally are under-appreciated in jazz. And many who are recognized are vocalists. The group, Natalie Cressman and Secret Garden, is fronted by a young woman who not only sings but also composes and plays trombone. She exhibits all three skills on her recording debut, Unfolding (self-produced, 2012).

Secret Garden consists of 20-year-old Cressman, trumpeter Ivan Rosenberg, tenor saxophonist Chad Lefkowitz-Brown (except for “That Kind”), pianist Pascal LeBoeuf, acoustic bassist Ruben Samama and drummer/percussionist Jake Goldbas. Guests are Zach Gould, who claps along with the rhythm section, and Peter Apfelbaum, takes over tenor sax duties on “That Kind.”

“Flip” opens the set in dynamic fashion. Cressman and the other horns carry the melody, complemented by strong performances from the rhythm section. After the initial rush, the pace slows briefly, to set up Cressman’s throaty trombone interlude. It’s nearly all stop for LeBoeuf, who is accompanied only by Samama and Goldbas. Cressman joins in with a haunting, wordless vocal chant. The rest of the band gets back into gear, reverting to the melody.

Cressman sings lead to introduce “Whistle Song,” one of the longer pieces. It’s an easygoing, leisurely stroll of a song, with plenty of activity behind the trombone. Nearly three minutes in, Cressman steps back to let LeBoeuf manage things, assisted by Goldbas and Samama. The intensity slowly picks up, although the pace remains the same. After the free-spirited instrumental break, Cressman returns, singing over the increasingly intense rhythm section, moving steadily toward the song’s climax.

Cressman, based in San Francisco, grew up on jazz and Brazilian music. Her mother is American-born, Brazilian jazz vocalist Sandy Cressman. Her father is recording engineer Jeff Cressman, a longtime member of Carlos Santana’s band. Natalie began playing trombone as a child, but was in high school when she focused fully on music. Her experience is vast, including time with Pete Escovedo’s Latin Jazz Orchestra and a variety of Bay Area groups, including the SF Jazz High School All-Stars.

Cressman wrote six of the nine tracks and co-wrote “Skylight” with Adam Nash. She and the band also lend their interpretive skills to three standards, “Honeysuckle Rose” and “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat.”