Rahsaan Roland Kirk, “Ain’t No Sunshine” from Blacknuss (Atlantic, 1972). Record company attempt to “popularize” RRK’s weirdness. But still weird … in the best possible way.
Lafayette Gilchrest, “Assume the Position” from The Music According to … (Hyena Records, 2004). Funky New Orleans-based pianist.
Chico Freeman, “Crossing the Sudan” from Destiny’s Dance (1981). Tenor saxophonist produces one of the best records of the 80s. Wynton Marsalis on trumpet, Bobby Hutcherson on vibes. Like a late night movie.
Orrin Evans, “Big Small” from Flip the Script (2012). Yet another fine, modern piano/bass/drums jazz trio.
Francine Griffin, “Two Little Words” (Delmark). World-weary blues/jazz vocal.
Mahavishnu Orchestra, “Birds of Fire” from 1973 Columbia LP of the same name. Proto-fusion. Tough. Fast. Really fast.
Dave Holland Quintet, “Shifting Sands” from Not for Nothin’ (ECM, 2001). Bassist-led group featuring trombone, tenor sax, and vibes. Nice.
John Coltrane, “Syeeda’s Song Flute” from Giant Steps (Atlantic, 1960). Our favorite track on ‘Trane’s classic album after leaving Miles Davis Quintet.
Vijay Iyer, “Duality” from Tirtha (2011). Arguably the top piano player in modern jazz leads a trio with guitar and tabla, exploring his Indian ethnicity.
John Zorn, George Lewis & Bill Frisell with an “out” version of the Blue Note hard bop classic “Blue Minor” (2008, HatHut).
Sonny Clark Quintet, “Blue Minor” from Cool Struttin’ (1958, Blue Note). Great session led by the ill-fated (died before age 30 of heroin overdose) pianist.
Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos (the Prosthetic Cubans), “Postizo” (Atlantic, 1998). Strange but cool session led by guitarist.
Portico Quartet, “City of Glass” (2011). From debut album of British unit.