Connie Crothers and Jessica Jones – Live At the Freight (2013)

Pianist Connie Crothers and tenor saxophonist Jessica Jones color outside the lines on Live At the Freight, a duo recording taken from a session in August of 2011 at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley.

Mosby Group – Missouri Music (2013)

Missouri Music unfolds like a musical travelogue across a broad and intriguing landscape, with the Mosby Group making pit stops along the way to pick up elements of folk, jazz, fusion, rock, funk and world music.

(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “Suite: II. Legend Of The Fountain” (1977)

(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “Suite: II. Legend Of The Fountain” (1977)

In a style that would fully bloom years later with the emergence of Pat’s Pikasso guitar, “Suite: II. Legends Of The Fountain” has Metheny spinning up beautiful melodies and arpeggios supported by deep pedal tones and artificial harmonics.

John Abercrombie Quartet – 39 Steps (2013)

John Abercrombie was one of the key jazz guitarists to emerge in the mid-’70s, along with John Scofield and Pat Metheny, and an Abercrombie ECM album has been a steady occurrence since

Erik Friedlander – Claws & Wings (2013)

Erik Friedlander – Claws & Wings (2013)

Only a year after celebrating fifty years on Earth, master cellist Erik Friedlander faced the premature departure from Earth of his wife, choreographer and writer Lynn Shapiro.

Tim Berne’s Snakeoil – Shadow Man (2013)

The best jazz musicians have always struck the right balance between composition and improvisation, and Tim Berne is one of the very best of the best at that. On Shadow Man, he’s still refining that skill, getting so close to perfection.

(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “Suite: I. Florida Greeting Song” (1977)

(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “Suite: I. Florida Greeting Song” (1977)

Pat Metheny has always held drummers and percussionists in high regard — the key components of an ensemble. Looking back at his career, it’s not hard too see the evidence

The Claudia Quintet – September (2013)

Bandleader, drummer and composer John Hollenbeck has been able to keep his Claudia Quintet viable long after its original formation in the late 90s by continually tossing new challenges at it.

Ken Peplowski – Maybe September (2013)

Maybe September, Ken Peplowski’s third outing for Capri Records, delivers the clarinetist and saxophonist in high form as expected.

One Step Beyond, Part 2: Sammy Stein on the development of free jazz

Here’s part two of Sammy Stein’s comprehensive look into the genesis of the rangy improvisational genre of music that eventually became known as free jazz