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January list by Donalee Jacobs
Winning Hand
Winning Handtinsley ellis

Since his Alligator debut 30 years ago, Southern blues-rock guitar wizard, vocalist and songwriter Tinsley Ellis has become a bona fide worldwide guitar hero. Now, he makes his triumphant return to Alligator Records with a powerful new album, Winning Hand. 

Obsidiankit downes

Kit Downes draws upon his early musical experiences as a church organist and records in three English churches with different acoustic spaces exploring, in improvisations both melodic and textural, the different sonic possibilities and idiosyncrasies. He is joined on one piece by frequent improvising partner Tom Challenger on tenor sax. 

All In My Mind
All In My Minddr. lonnie smith

Features the irrepressible NEA Jazz Master at the height of his powers live at the Jazz Standard in New York City with his nimble and dynamic trio featuring guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg and drummer Jonathan Blake.

Chinese Butterfly
Chinese Butterflychick corea & steve gadd band

Chinese Butterfly is a reunion of two musical titans, a creative partnership that dates back to the early days of Return To Forever with Chick Corea when Steve Gadd was one of the first drummers. 

The Study Of Touch
The Study Of Touchdjango bates and the beloved

Django Bates returns with one of his very finest constellations: three highly individual players subtly challenge the conventions of the jazz piano trio. In the crowded world of the piano trio, Beloved has developed a sound all its own.

Song Of No Regrets
Song Of No Regretseric alexander

Eric Alexander is reunited here with pianist David Hazeltine and they're joined by another jazz great , the always daring trumpeter Jon Faddis, on a couple of tracks. There is also a strong Latin feel provided by percussionist Alex Diaz. 

Monk'estra, Vol. 2
Monk'estra, Vol. 2john beasley

Composer-arranger-pianist John Beasley uses Thelonious Monk's spontaneous movements and experiences as the basis for conducting radically reconceived versions of the late composer's music for his critically acclaimed big band project.

The Last Shade Of Blue Before Black
The Last Shade Of Blue Before Blackthe original blues brothers band

For their latest offering, the Original Blues Brothers Band is joined by several talented guests, including Dr. John, Joe Louis Walker, Eddie Floyd, Paul Shaffer, and Matt 'Guitar' Murphy. 

Jigsawalan ferber big band

For his latest release Ferber assembled musicians of stylistically diverse backgrounds. In his trombone section alone there is a veteran of the Woody Herman Big Band and one of Kronos Quartet's in-house composers.