Charles Evans, with David Liebman, Tony Marino and Ron Stabinksky – Subliminal Leaps (2013)

Baritone sax savant Charles Evans is really good at taming this brash, acerbic horn and transforming it into a conduit of emotion and musical purpose.

WTF?! Wednesdays: John Zorn, “Igneous Ejaculation” (1989)

WTF?! Wednesdays: John Zorn, “Igneous Ejaculation” (1989)

“Sitting on the beach for a week is my idea of hell.”

Peter Calandra – Ashokan Memories (2013)

Peter Calandra doesn’t just invite you along for a keenly felt rumination on the Catskills with Ashokan Memories, he takes you into his personal, deeply emotional feelings about this special place.

Carla Bley, Andy Sheppard, Steve Swallow – Trios (2013)

Carla Bley returns to her long running drum-less threesome featuring electric bassist Steve Swallow and tenor saxman Andy Sheppard with an album by this ensemble next week.

Ralph Alessi – Baida (2013)

A standout thing I’ve come to realize in sizing up Ralph Alessi’s ECM debut Baida is not just the record itself but the realization that this is the first Alessi-led album I’ve had the occasion to cover.

One Track Mind: Jim Beard, “The Gentleman and Hizcaine” (2013)

Keyboardist and composer Jim Beard has long been a “behind the scenes” kind of guy, contributing his skills to music by better-known acts, such as Wayne Shorter, Chuck Loeb, Eliane Elias

Steve Gadd – Gadditude (2013)

Steve Gadd – Gadditude (2013)

Though he’s leading a group of fellow veterans from James Taylor’s touring band, Steve Gadd’s 10th solo album couldn’t have less to do with that easy-going singer-songwriter vibe — or any of Gadd’s countless other rock and pop dates.

Fred Hersch and Julian Lage – Free Flying (2013)

Fred Hersch has done plenty of duet albums and plenty of live albums, so perhaps it’s inevitable that the brilliant, reflective pianist would make a live, duet album with a guitarist.

Gina Kronstadt – Come Over (2013)

In the press release for Gina Kronstadt’s Come Over, it’s revealed that she’s worked with “everyone in the records, TV and film industry.” A scan through her credits reveals that’s the case

One Track Mind: Wayne Shorter, “Witch Hunt” (1964)

One Track Mind: Wayne Shorter, “Witch Hunt” (1964)

Kind Of Blue has long been touted as the best jazz album ever made, and I remain on that big bandwagon. But what’s the second best?