For me, the main sound in my head at the moment is that of cornet player Kirk Knuffke. His playing is lyrical, with a full, broad and beautiful soft tone. he has a rare gift in that he can make the most challenging material sound truly melodic. He records a lot. A great starting point is his duo album with pianist Jesse Stacken ‘Orange was the Color’.
Other great cornet players I listen to a lot are the brilliant Thad Jones, Bobby Bradford and Taylor Ho Bynum.