One Track Mind

Otis Taylor, “Cold at Midnight” from Hey Joe Opus / Red Meat (2015): One Track Mind

Otis Taylor, “Cold at Midnight” from Hey Joe Opus / Red Meat (2015): One Track Mind

Otis Taylor’s “Cold at Midnight,” a white-knuckle ride into the very heart of worry, advances the forthcoming ‘Hey Joe Opus / Red Meat.’

Cyrus Chestnut, “Gloria’s Step” from A Million Colors in Your Mind (2015)

Cyrus Chestnut, “Gloria’s Step” from A Million Colors in Your Mind (2015)

Cyrus Chestnut doesn’t supercede the definitive take by Bill Evans’ Trio. Still, I found myself enjoying the new corners he and his trio explored.

Hot Butter, “Popcorn” (1972): Forgotten Series

Hot Butter, “Popcorn” (1972): Forgotten Series

A bit comical and cheesy but astonishingly inventive, Hot Butter’s “Popcorn” was so futuristic that it could pass for a contemporary recording.

Frank Sinatra + Count Basie, “The Best is Yet To Come” from Ultimate Sinatra (2015)

Frank Sinatra + Count Basie, “The Best is Yet To Come” from Ultimate Sinatra (2015)

A highlight of ‘Ultimate Sinatra,’ everything is in place on Frank Sinatra’s Count Basie collaboration “Best is Yet to Come.” And then it surprises you.

The Word [Robert Randolph, John Medeski + North Mississippi All-Stars], “When I See the Blood” from Soul Food (2015)

The Word [Robert Randolph, John Medeski + North Mississippi All-Stars], “When I See the Blood” from Soul Food (2015)

Robert Randolph helps set a new standard for improv gospel-jazz country blues supergroups. Because, yeah, they’re the only one.

Circus, “Stop Wait and Listen / I Need Your Love” (1972): One Track Mind

Circus, “Stop Wait and Listen / I Need Your Love” (1972): One Track Mind

Had this been Circus’ lone contribution they would still inspire awe – since “Stop Wait and Listen” is truly one of the greatest singles of all time.

The Moody Blues’ John Lodge, “10,000 Light Years Ago” (2015): One Track Mind

The Moody Blues’ John Lodge, “10,000 Light Years Ago” (2015): One Track Mind

John Lodge displays a welcome willingness to build a bridge to the future from a well-known foundation of the Moody Blues’ past.

Sonny Landreth, “Bound by the Blues” (2015): One Track Mind

Sonny Landreth, “Bound by the Blues” (2015): One Track Mind

Sonny Landreth reminds us just how important the blues is, as both foundation and (maybe most importantly) as launching pad.

Indigo Girls, “Happy in the Sorrow Key” from One Lost Day (2015): One Track Mind

Indigo Girls, “Happy in the Sorrow Key” from One Lost Day (2015): One Track Mind

Crunchy where they might have been folky before, the Indigo Girls’ punchy “Happy in the Sorrow Key” simply pulls no punches.

Graham Parker and the Rumour, “Railroad Spikes” from Mystery Glue (2015)

Graham Parker and the Rumour, “Railroad Spikes” from Mystery Glue (2015)

Graham Parker and the Rumour returned after three decades as if nothing had changed. Everything had changed, of course. Well, except for these guys.