To celebrate his fiftieth birthday, James Williams gathered some of his favorites musicians to record an extensive four-volume series of CDs covering originals, timeless jazz compositions, originals, and more. It's hard to choose highlights from the second volume's 12 tracks, though the driving opener of the pianist's "Focus" with Peter Washington sets an immediately high standard. But everyone else was also in a mood to celebrate with their host as well by playing at the top of their respective games. Houston Person shines on tenor sax in a loping, gospel-inflected setting of "Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You," vocalist Mary Stallings offers a powerful version of "Easy Living," while guitarist Dave Stryker negotiates the pianist's inventive blues "Fourplay" with skill and imagination. Trumpeter Jon Faddis was a perfect choice to salute Dizzy Gillespie playing his landmark work "Groovin' High" and nearly stealing the show. Russell Malone, Loren Schoenberg, Ray Drummond, John Clayton, plus vocalists Miles Griffith, Steve Heck, and Roger Holland also join in the fun. It is sad that the four volumes in this series were James Williams' final releases prior to his untimely death from cancer in the summer of 2004.