Sly 5th Ave – Akuma (2014)

Akuma is the first album by rising saxophone star Sly 5th Ave, wrung from the sweat of him waiting tables in this self-financed album that’s been two years in the making.

Sweet Banditry – Farvefisen blomstrer [dedicated to Jens Jørgen Thorsen] (2014)

There are probably scores of thrash jazz combos out there and when I’m of the right mind and the wife is not around, I can enjoy listening to every single one of them. Sweet Banditry is one of the latest such units to come around

Jeff Ballard Trio with Lionel Loueke and Miguel Zenon – Time’s Tales (2014)

Jeff Ballard is best known as Brad Mehldau’s longtime drummer and also one third of the critically acclaimed FLY trio with Mark Turner and Larry Grenadier.

James Brandon Lewis – Divine Travels (2014)

A lot of jazz saxophonists strive to sound spiritual but for James Brandon Lewis, that’s part of who he’s always been.

Jon Lundbom and Big Five Chord – Liverevil (2014)

Jon Lundbom’s Big Five Chord shares a lot of members with Bryan & the Haggards and Mostly Other People Do the Killing, and thus, that wild and wooly DNA is built into the band.

Gary Windo with Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason – Steam Radio Tapes (2014)

Never-before-released tapes find the late saxist Gary Windo collaborating between 1976-78 with a group that includes Nick Mason, but don’t go in expecting the visceral prog-influenced prog that marked Pink Floyd’s output of that era.

Marco Sanguinetti – 8 (2014)

Marco Sanguinetti has just blown my mind. Unintentionally, of course. It is just that I have, for many years, avoided listening to albums which are heavy on the piano

Jim Clayton – Songs My Daughter Knows (2013)

A musical scrapbook for pianist Jim Clayton’s child, who had not yet hit the ripe old age of three at the time of recording, Songs My Daughter Knows is a refreshing and moving jazz record.

Adrian Raso and Fanfare Ciocarlia – Devil’s Tale (2014)

The languid sway of “Urn St. Tavern,” the first track from Devil’s Tale, is perhaps as sluggish as things get on the brilliant new record from Canadian guitarist Adrian Raso and Balkan brass band Fanfare Ciocarlia.

Pete Robbins – Pyramid (2014)

As a bandleader and award-winning composer, saxophonist Pete Robbins never stands still, crafting each album using some different dimension.