By Tom Schnabel, KCRW
Drummer Sasha Mashin hails from St. Petersburg. His new album, Happy Synapse, is a musical journey tracing his recovery from depression in Russia, where mental health issues are often stigmatized. I also like the sound of three new jazz albums from tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III, drummer Jonathan Barber, and MATHIS Sound Orchestra. All three albums are exploratory and improvisatory, expanding the jazz idiom in lovely and surprising ways. Read the full playlist here.