Carla Bley: Trios (ECM, 2013)
All right, you got us, this is a bit of a cheat format-wise: piano/bass/sax rather than piano/bass/drums. But Bley’s trio with saxophonist Andy Sheppard and bassist Steve Swallow deserves the space. These three musicians have been collaborators for decades, and it shows in the ease with which they pass ideas back and forth. On this album—which cherry-picks tunes from throughout Bley’s 50+-year career—they take the art of the trio to a peak of sophistication and refinement. If ever an album deserved to be called chamber jazz, it’s this one.