Jim Grant – You Go To My Head (2014)

If there’s a real-world sensibility to this record, a firm grasp on the passion it takes to withstand hard times, you can credit Jim Grant’s resume as a working man. If there’s a remarkable eloquence to his phrasing, look to this Chicago vocalist’s time at the Bloom School of Jazz.

Matija Dedic’, with Antonio Sanchez and Scott Colley – Sentiana (2014)

The classically trained, Croatian born pianist Matija Dedic’ certainly wears his Euro-classical heritage on his sleeve, and why not?

Something Else! Interview: Double bassist John Edwards finds inspiration everywhere

Something Else! Interview: Double bassist John Edwards finds inspiration everywhere

John Edwards, who has played with many musicians as well as had his own bands and projects, is an extraordinary bass player. He grew up in Hounslow, west London, with an older brother who played drums. John would listen and think: “I’d like to do that.”

Sam Boshnack Quintet – Exploding Syndrome (2014)

From the same lively, progressive jazz scene in Seattle that’s brought us Paul Rucker, Cuong Vu and the various “tet” bands (Reptet, Triptet and Hardcoretet), Samantha “Sam” Boshnack is the fast-rising star of the bunch.

Nikki Lerner – Longings (2014)

Nikki Lerner’s Longings isn’t the sad embrace its title seems to indicate. Instead, it’s a journey of understanding, an attempt to make sense of this life’s unknowable complexities — with all of the small triumphs, the sudden pitfalls and the ardent moments associated with such things.

Matthew Shipp Trio – Root of Things (2014)

There are thoughtful pianists who play from the brain and passionate pianists who play from the heart. Matthew Shipp’s distinction has been that he’s always been a thoughtful pianist who plays from the heart.

Digital Primitives – Lipsomuch/Soul Searching (2014)

It’s easy to think of a “groove” as having certain kind of chord changes, played by certain kind of instruments and even having certain kind of beats.

Chico Hamilton and Euphoria – The Inquiring Mind (2014)

Chico Hamilton and Euphoria – The Inquiring Mind (2014)

Chico Hamilton rose to individual fame in the 1950s with an Eric Dolphy-fired chamber jazz unit, but there was always something angular, something interesting and offbeat happening — even dating back to 1959’s That Hamilton Man, an album dominated by this quiet melancholy.

Something Else! sneak peek: Eric Reed, “Gallop’s Gallop” from The Adventurous Monk (2014)

Eric Reed, who rose to fame in the early 1990s with Wynton Marsalis, has discovered a well spring of inspiration in the music of Thelonious Monk, as “Gallop’s Gallop” heralds his third tribute album to the offbeat jazz genius.

Noel Johnston – Salted Coffee (2014)

Van Halen-inspired and jazz-trained guitarslinger Noel Johnston merges his passion for both worlds for his third album Salted Coffee, out March 11, 2014 via Armored Records.