Other Doors, by Klang, and Aerial Age, by Vox Arcana

In a formidable jazz town like Chicago, musicians who populate the club scene one night grace the world's concert stages the next. Two new projects feature three of the city's best: drummer/percussionist Tim Daisy, clarinetist James Falzone and cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm.

Daisy and Falzone trade places as bandleaders with gratifying, unexpected results. Other Doors, a tribute to Benny Goodman, began when the Jazz Institute of Chicago approached Falzone about a project to mark the Chicago-native bandleader's 100-year anniversary. Rising to the occasion, Klang launches Goodman's music—and Goodman-inspired originals—on improvised excursions that ricochet from familiar themes to ferocious flights and back.

On Goodman's "Breakfast Feud," Falzone pilots his clarinet like a joyful stunt flyer—but this playfulness is grounded by crisp mastery of the instrument and material. The title track, composed by Falzone, takes its name from Goodman's advocacy for African-American musicians. When Goodman's band toured the nation's dance halls, he defied convention by refusing to make his black players use different entrances from their white colleagues. The song begins with Falzone unfolding sepia tendrils, which wrap around Lonberg-Holm's droning cello and Daisy's muted, majestic pounding. Together they produce a gripping shadow portrait of racism outclassed by brave defiance.