"Miles Davis: The Collected Artwork" (New South Books)
For the holidays: a couple of box sets, an album or two, and books, all expressing jazz, then and now. "The Complete Clifford Jordan Strata-East Sessions": Jordan was a master of bebop and blues with a feathery touch; his saxophone sound can break your heart. This six-CD set is a time capsule from the late '60s and early '70s, a crackling and creative era for jazz. It includes Jordan's classic albums for musician-owned Strata-East Records, as well as rare sessions he produced for the label by visionaries including Pharoah Sanders, Ed Blackwell and Wilbur Ware. ($102, www.mosaicrecords.com). Miles Davis: "The Original Mono Recordings": The trumpeter always pointed the way, though never more than on these nine Columbia sessions from 1956 to 1961. "Round About Midnight," "Kind of Blue," "Sketches of Spain" and all the rest; oh my, right? ($102, www.amazon.com, in mono.) Bookend Miles with a contemporary trumpet master, Nicholas Payton, whose new recording of "Sketches of Spain" is a thing of beauty. ($19.54, www.amazon.com) Miles Davis: "The Collected Artwork": In his last decade, the trumpeter studied painting and grew obsessed with it. Many of his canvases are reproduced in this lavish book: vibrantly colored, at times echoing Picasso and African art. Quincy Jones provides the forward and Davis's own observations are interspersed throughout author Scott Gutterman's text. ($38.03, www.barnesandnoble.com). "Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker": Author Stanley Crouch writes in a heroic style; grandiose or off-putting to some. But he is an idea man, unafraid to connect the dots in unexpected ways, and this 30-years-in-the-making biography of the saxophonist evokes Parker's life and times with visceral power, as well as real finesse. It ends with Parker still in his early 20s; another volume is to follow, we are told. ($20.39, www.amazon.com). Cecile McLorin Salvant: "Woman Child": Only 24 years old? She echoes Bessie, Billie, Betty Carter and -- who knows? -- she just may take it to the next step up the ladder. Don't miss this new singer in her first major recording. (Mack Avenue, $10.86, www.amazon.com).
Contact Richard Scheinin at 408-920-5069, read his stories and reviews at www.mercurynews.com/richard-scheinin and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/richardscheinin