Pat Metheny Group – We Live Here: Live in Japan (2013)

Pat Metheny is such an accomplished figure that it’s easy to overlook his cohorts in the Metheny Group — making this new live document an endlessly instructive journey.

One Track Mind: Anthony Branker and Word Play, “Let’s Conversate!” from Uppity (2013)

One Track Mind: Anthony Branker and Word Play, “Let’s Conversate!” from Uppity (2013)

Anthony Branker plays no instruments on his latest record Uppity. Actually, he’s never performed on any of his six releases, so I can’t discuss what a great instrumentalist or vocalist he is.

Paul Motian – Paul Motian ECM box set (2013)

Paul Motian – Paul Motian ECM box set (2013)

By the time Paul Motian had passed away in November of 2011, he had established a legacy that reaches far beyond a couple of historical evenings at the Village Vanguard in late June of 1961. But becoming known as something much more than Bill Evans’ drummer within arguably jazz’s greatest trio didn’t happen overnight.

Bobby Selvaggio – Way of Being (2013)

Bobby Selvaggio heads up two different kinds of bands, but he solved a potential dilemma of which band to record for an album by simply including sessions by both combos on the same record.

Jeff Berlin – Low Standards (2013)

Following 2010’s High Standards, Jeff Berlin assembles a sizzling trio — his electric bass sounding like anything but an instrument of support — for a cheekily named return engagement with some classics.

Craig Taborn Trio – Chants (2013)

One of the most diversely talented pianists of today can make just about any kind of record he wants, and make it good. So why did Craig Taborn choose to make an acoustic jazz trio record with bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Gerald Cleaver for his second ECM project?

Rich Halley 4 – Crossing The Passes (2013)

Rich Halley is a DIY guy in the jazz world, just as he’s a free spirit in his personal life. Last summer, he took his son Carson and a nephew out hiking the entire range of the Wallowa Mountains in eastern Oregon.

Will Martina – Modular Living By Design (2013)

Will Martina has distinguished himself as a cellist, composer and leader with his second album The Dam Levels (2011). Modular Living By Design, out next week, consolidates and propels forward his signature sound.

Ken Fowser and Behn Gillece – Top Shelf (2013)

If, as they say, the third time’s the charm, what does that make the fourth time? If it’s concerning a collaboration by tenor saxophonist Ken Fowser and vibraphonist Behn Gillece, it’s even more so the charm.

Kari Ikonen Trio – Bright (2013)

When I think of Finnish jazz, I tend to think of cutting edge electro-acoustic, outside or world fusion jazz. Shame on me, because there’s also prime good ol’ American mainstream acoustic jazz coming out of this Nordic country