Cannonball Adderley with Milt Jackson – Things Are Getting Better (1958; 2013 reissue)

Cannonball Adderley with Milt Jackson – Things Are Getting Better (1958; 2013 reissue)

For all the times that “all-star” dates have let us down, the fault of a basic incompatibility that transcends anyone’s inherent fame, Things Are Getting Better features a pairing that utterly works.

Etienne Charles – Creole Soul (2013)

The Trinidad-born Etienne Charles plays with a knifing, jazz-focused intensity, but inside a layered, rhythmically complex atmosphere that makes Creole Soul anything but the same old straight-ahead fare.

Michael Dease – Coming Home (2013)

It’s been about three years since trombone powerhouse Michael Dease has released a record of his own but that’s understandable.

Wes Montgomery – So Much Guitar! (1961; 2013 reissue)

Wes Montgomery – So Much Guitar! (1961; 2013 reissue)

Though it’s always existed in the shadow of Wes Montgomery’s earlier Incredible Jazz Guitar, there is much to recommend about this easy-swinging 1961 follow up for Riverside — beginning with his able young sideman Ron Carter.

Karen Souza – Hotel Souza (2013)

Embarking on a stay at Hotel Souza is a lot like sinking into silky, cool but familiar sheets. There’s a decidedly old-fashioned air to Karen Souza’s follow-up to her debut Essentials

Volto! – Incitare (2013)

Volto! came together like most side projects, by happenstance, and without any commercial considerations. Just for the pure fun of friends getting together and playing music outside their day job…err…gig.

Sunna Gunnlaugs – Distilled (2013)

Distilled by Sunna Gunnlaugs Iceland is geographically situated between Scandinavia and the North American continent, and that’s just where the jazz of Icelandic pianist Sunna Gunnlaugs is situated, too.

(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “Missouri Uncompromised” (1976)

(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “Missouri Uncompromised” (1976)

So many years removed from this album’s release, and I am still stunned at tracks such as this. Metheny has a theme but the presentation is one long guitar solo.

One Track Mind: Brian Andres and the Afro-Cuban Jazz Cartel, “Black Market” (2013)

It’s hard to deny the electricity, enthusiasm and emotion of Afro-Cuban music, and a certain drummer out of San Francisco has captured that essence in leading a band of like-minded specialists of the music form.

Exclusive stream: Billy Cobham, “Crosswinds/ Stratus” from Compass Point (2013)

This exclusive in-concert stream from Billy Cobham, one of jazz rock’s most powerful drummers but also one of its most rhythmically intriguing, combines key moments from two-early 1970s solo efforts.