By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
1. SONIC LIBERATION FRONT:Ashé a Go-Go (High Two) Yin and yangfierce avant-sax and friendly folk songs united by shifty Afro-Cuban beats.
2. MATTHEW SHIPP:Harmony and Abyss (Thirsty Ear) Sums up the Blue Series with the return of the piano as the grandest rhythm instrument of all.
3. THE VANDERMARK FIVE:Elements of Style . . . Exercises in Surprise (Atavistic) The ideas come fast and furious with Vandermark's acoustic machine in full gear.
7. JEWELS & BINOCULARS:Floater (Ramboy) Every now and then a scrap of Bob Dylan melody floats by like a leaf in a warm autumn breeze.
8. ZU & SPACEWAYS INC.: Radiale (Atavistic) Battle of the bands returns to the classicsSun Ra and Funkadelic.
9. SATOKO FUJII QUARTET:Zephyros (NatSat) Her records range so widely you're never sure where she'll go next, but this rhythm section wants to rock out.
10. DON BYRON:Ivey-Divey (Blue Note) The most expansive album ever by the guy who started the clarinet's return to jazz prominence.