Nicole Mitchell – Maroon Cloud

The multi-award winning avant-garde flutist continues to push the envelope through bold new concepts that are ever connected to the jazz tradition, especially those grounded in Chicago’s AACM organization. For this outing, she calls in the considerable talents of fellow-Chicagoan Tomeka Reid, on cello, the free-thinking Cuban pianist Aruan Ortiz, and the adventurous, multi-dimensional vocalist, Fay Victor. The sparks that fly between these seasoned improvisers create another major step in Mitchell’s creative trajectory.

Erroll Garner – Nightconcert

This gem of a recording shows the brilliant and utterly distinctive pianist in a 1964 concert it the rarified air of the beautiful Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Working seamlessly with bassist Eddie Calhoun and drummer Kelly Martin, Garner puts his beautiful stamp on every composition he visits, whether lesser-known works or the best of the Great American songbook. Terrific liner notes by Nate Chinen.

Woody Shaw – Tokyo ‘81

Another welcome reissue of the blazing trumpet work of Woody Shaw, who died way too young, at the age of 44, in 1989. In spite of his relatively brief career, Shaw has already influenced a couple of generations of young musicians. This 1981 live set features the trombonist Steve Turre, along with one of Shaw’s most remarkable rhythm teams, showcasing the pianist Mulgrew Miller working with bassist Stafford James and the drummer Tony Reedus.