Peter Margasak, Reader music critic
Swedish Azz's Azz Appeal: Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson leads an excellent quintet through sincere but freewheeling interpretations of tunes from his homeland's golden era of mainstream jazz in the 50s and 60s.
Stickmen's Insatiable: Once every year or two I pull out this CD, which collects every recording by Philadelphia's brilliant, criminally overlooked Stickmen, who emerged from no wave's dying embers in the early 80s. Spastic, wildly original, and insanely weird punk-funk.
Marcelo Camelo's Toque Déla: The second solo album from the former Los Hermanos singer is my favorite pop album this year, with elegant arrangements by his backing band Hurtmold (and guests including Chicago cornetist Rob Mazurek) perfectly cradling his beautifully crystalline, quietly soulful singing.See where Bettina Richards, owner of Thrill Jockey Records, finds new music...