Al Foster, REFLECTIONS (Smoke Sessions, $15.98) – Drummer Al Foster pays tribute to mentors and bandleaders with whom he’s played, including Sonny Rollins (“Pent-up House”), Joe Henderson (“Punjab”), Herbie Hancock (“Alone and I”) and McCoy Tyner (“Blues on the Corner”). Foster was also a part of Miles Davis’s later bands, and here brings Miles’s tune (“Half Nelson”) into the mix. Foster’s all-star band includes Nicholas Payton, trumpet; Chris Potter, saxophones; keyboard player Kevin Hays, and bassist Vicente Archer. There are a few originals, including two tributes to Monk.
Miguel Zenón, MÚSICA DE LAS AMÉRICAS (Miel Music, $16.98) – Alto saxophist Miguel Zenón (with his regular quartet of pianist Luis Perdomo, bassist Hans Glawischnig, drummer Henry Cole) has programmed a thematic album exploring the music and history of the Caribbean and the Americas before and after colonization. “Navegando” pays tribute to the plena music of Zenón’s home of Puerto Rico, with vocals by Los Pleneros De La Cresta.
JD Allen, AMERICANA VOL. 2 (Savant, $16.99) – Tenor saxophonist JD Allen released Americana in 2016, and Barracoon in 2019. Now, with Americana Vol. 2, he completes his trilogy of albums exploring the legacy of the blues in Black history. Mr. Allen expands his long-standing trio, with Gregg August on bass and Rudy Royston on drums, by bringing in guitarist Charlie Hunter on three tunes.
Frank Kimbrough, 2003 – 2006: Volume I: Lullabluebye, Volume II: Play (Palmetto, 2 CDs, $23.98) – Pianist Frank Kimbrough (1956 – 2020) was the pianist in the Maria Schneider Orchestra for twenty years, as well as leading his own trios, and teaching at Julliard. 2003 – 2006 collects sessions from two trios he worked with regularly during this era.
Volume I: Lullabluebye has Ben Allison on bass and Matt Wilson, drums; Volume II: Play has Masa Kamaguchi, bass and Paul Motian, drums. Most of the material consists of Kimbrough originals, with a tune by Ben Allison, two by Paul Motian, and one classic John Barry tune, “You Only Live Twice.”
COVERS & TRIBUTES
Steve Earle, JERRY JEFF (New West, $16.99) – After recording tribute albums to two of his songwriting heroes—what Earle called his “first-hand teachers,” Townes Van Zandt (2009) and Guy Clark (2019)—Steve Earle now turns to Jerry Jeff Walker, with songs like “Getting’ By,” “Hill Country Rain,” “Old Road,” “My Old Man,” and “Wheel.”
Valerie June, UNDER COVER (Fantasy, $12.98) – Valerie June has an unmistakable voice and laid-back vibe, and here she covers a wide range of great tunes: Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You,” Frank Ocean’s “Godspeed,” Nick Drake’s “Pink Moon,” Bob Dylan’s “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You,” Gillian Welch’s “Look at Miss Ohio.”