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
The Hunting of the Snark
Jazzheads Too rowdy for chamber jazz even if the touchstones are classical, if that's what you call Ives, Grieg, Perle, et al.
Black Hawk Dance
Sunnyside Supple guitarist leads an edgy quartet where Gebhard Ullman makes most of the noise.
Jason Adasiewicz's Rolldown
Cuneiform Underground Chicago with a colorful swish of vibes.
BAG Charlie Hunter fusion grooves with clarinet dressing in lieu of synth and Ron Miles's cornet for occasional bite.
Electrofone Bold swathes of soundtrack electronica, burnished with bolts of trumpet.
Clean Feed Free trumpet trio, with Doug Wieselman a double threat on clarinet and engagingly primitive guitar.
Soren Moller & Dick Oatts
The Clouds Above
Audial Another NY-DK connection, piano-sax duets that remain bracing until the flute comes out.
3 Trombone Solos
Dolfjin A limited instrument, seldom given such range of expression.
Tord Gustavsen Ensemble
ECM Piano ambience elevated by Tore Brunborg sax; W.H. Auden poetry warmed by Kristin Asbjørnson.
The First Basket
Tzadik Soundtrack for a David Vyorst film on early Jewish basketballers; a pastiche of klezmerish pieces con salsa.
Umbo Weti: A Tribute to Leon Thomas
Motéma Dwight Trible channels the avant-garde's preacher man, Ernie Watts waxes eloquent where Pharoah Sanders turned shrill.
Satoko Fujii Ma-Do
Not Two Bass and drums present, but only to heighten the piano-trumpet intercourse.
Matt Lavelle and Morcilla
The Manifestation Drama
KMB Jazz Somehow manages to get his bass clarinet in your face as much as his trumpet.
Dan Tepfer/Lee Konitz
Duos With Lee
Sunnyside Young pianist, ancient genius, no drama, nothing rushed—just pick a key and improvise.
482 Music Sax-drums improvs, like Vandermark/Nilssen-Love but more together.
Kuroi Kawa–Black River
Tzadik Crashing Satoko Fujii piano and soothing Carla Kihlstedt violin, evened out into two discs of intricate serenade.
Luis Lopes/Adam Lane/Igal Foni
What Is When
Clean Feed Starts with a dissonant guitar nod to Sonny Sharrock, ends with badass bass solo.
Those Moments Before
Strudelmedia Nods to Johnny Hodges and Henry Threadgill, with soundtrack locales from Spain to the Orient.
Beeswax Long, sinuous guitar lines intertwined with Abraham Burton's earthy sax.
Gary Peacock/Marc Copland
Pirouet Famous bassist and not nearly famous enough pianist snuggle up for discreet pleasures.
David Crowell Ensemble
Innova Philip Glass saxophonist builds on minimalist rhythmic vamps, tightly boxed but tougher than chamber jazz.
Greenleaf Music The spirit of Lester Bowie returns, trademarked by wit and funk, with a brass band "Mr. Pitiful" that is anything but.
GPE A résumé stuffer, with two Claudia Quintet cuts, some chamber music, and percussion collectives.
Cynthia Sayer Attractions Plunk Banjo picker who sings too much fronts a retro dream band featuring guitar picker Bucky Pizzarelli.
Satoko Fujii Orchestra Tokyo
Libra Big band, no piano, lots of Kelly Churko guitar, more horns.
Fight the Big Bull
All Is Gladness in the Kingdom
Clean Feed Bigger (and louder) than ever, with Steven Bernstein joining the fray.
John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension
To the One
Abstract Logix Forty years of meditation on the one true fusion.
Nonesuch The fancy technology just lets him be himself, more mellifluous than ever.
Ralph Towner/Paolo Fresu
ECM Lushly resonant guitar and stately trumpet—a masterful match of color and texture.
Cuneiform Double-sax fusion group, drawing from rock the concept that you find the path to the next by paying louder.
We All Feel the Same Way
SoLyd Veteran Russian avant-garde drummer Vladimir Tarasov hooks up with Larry Ochs and Mark Dresser for twisting free improv.
The Imagine Project
Hancock As long as Wayne Shorter answers his calls, he'd do the world more good playing jazz than indulging Dave Matthews, Pink, the Chieftains, et al. B
Chamber Music Society
Heads Up Soft, shapeless strings, layered in all sorts of scat. B-
Verve Fewer tics, lamer songs. C