HERBIE HANCOCK Possibilities (Vector/Hear) Like Ray Charles’ Genius Loves Company, this Starbucks-branded duets CD is star stuffed (John Mayer, Paul Simon, Sting), but calorie empty. Hancock’s piano is impeccable, but the haphazard mix of material is anything but tasty.
AUGUST BORN August Born(Drag City) Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance, Comets on Fire) is currently indie rock’s busiest guitar mystic. This delicately abstract collaboration with Japanese multi-instrumentalist Hiroyuki Usui (a.k.a. L) is floaty, shambling, semi-instrumental jazz-folk recommended to Deadheads and adventurous yoga instructors alike.
BJÖRK Drawing Restraint 9 (One Little Indian) With this haunting score to partner Matthew Barney’s avant-weird flick, Björk makes her most esoteric statement to date. Her vocals grace only three tracks, but the entire collection (which she composed and produced) is unmistakably alluring.
ARVO PÄRT Lamentate (ECM) Europe’s greatest living composer turns 70 with two new works: a Gregorian-chant-based piece worth putting on repeat, and a piano concerto with dissonant outbursts that finds the ancient-minded Estonian in modernist territory. Wanderlust knows no age.