>• Whether on trumpet, piano or vibraphone, these four cats will have you grooving to all that jazz.
TERENCE BLANCHARD, CHOICES After his 2007 remembrance of the Katrina tragedy, the veteran trumpeter leads his quintet through an uneasy mix of philosophy—with spoken-word performances by Dr. Cornel West—and dark, richly textured music. The moodiness is lightened by guest singer Bilal, guitarist Lionel Loueke and Blanchard’s searing solos.
STEFON HARRIS AND BLACKOUT, URBANUS Known for his expressive touch on the vibraphone, Harris likes to bring the funk. This inventive disc, with his quintet Blackout, delivers in-your-face grooves like “Gone,” where Gershwin meets go-go, and a riff on Stevie Wonder’s “They Won’t Go When I Go.”
ROY HARGROVE BIG BAND, EMERGENCE Hargrove’s 19-piece big band has power to spare—and a stylistic versatility that’s startling. Its sections blister and swing, soulfully framing Hargrove’s horn. Basie, Duke and Dizzy must be smiling somewhere.
ROBERT GLASPER, DOUBLE BOOKED If this disc were vinyl, side 1 would feature the pianist’s acoustic trio and side 2 would showcase his hip-hop jazz fusion band Experiment. The upshot: a captivating old-meets-new-school summit.