Combine a Prohibition-era daring with today's studio know-how and you've got one of the best soundtracks of the year in "Bessie: Music From The HBO Film," starring Queen Latifah, juxtaposing 1920s recordings with today's sophisticated facsimiles.
Clarence 'Frogman' Henry "can sing like a girl and sing like a frog," which he does on "Ain't Got No Home" but he never really got his due as a NOLA icon despite opening for The Beatles in '64 and his solid Chess recordings all still in print.
At 64, Californian slide guitar master Roy Rogers has updated his blues to include a more far-reaching syntheisis of pop, rock and jazz. 'Into The Wild Blue' has the former co-star of John Lee Hooker's touring band in a new Southern stew.
Don't be put off by the ambient nature of British saxophonist Andy Sheppard's new quartet. He's added Norwegian guitarist Eivind Aarset to his existing Trio Libero, and for his third ECM CD, 'Surrounded By Sea,' he's gone totally atmospheric and haunting.