True, by Willie Wisely Trio

This troubadour is a master of melody and pop invention, as evidenced on his McCartneyesque 1996 album She. Wisely returns to sparkling form here, and with depth to boot.

Lixiviation, by Suzanne Ciani

Suzanne Ciani’s work as a synthesizer pioneer dates to the instrument’s infancy, and Lixiviation is a fascinating document that collects both Ciani’s musical compositions and her work as one of the first sound designers.

Now This Is Fun, by Mayor of Storyville

Chicago’s Kenny Haas mixes it up with live storytelling, prerecorded stories and a smorgasbord of musical genres--from polka (“Don’t Let Those Chickens Run Away”) to a capella doo-wop (“Kitty Delight”).

Wrecking Ballby Bruce Springsteen

On the cover of Wrecking Ball, Bruce Springsteen holds his iconic Fender Esquire guitar, the same ax he sported on his 1975 masterpiece Born to Run. Back then, saxophonist Clarence Clemons stood to his left, coaxing an impish grin from the young rocker. Now, on his first disc since Clemons’s death, Bruce stands solitary and sullen against a black backdrop.