Smooth Operators

Haikus and lows abound in this month's jazz and heritage releases

Overlooked and underrated: Jazz outsider John Zorn released the double-disc Great Jewish Music: Burt Bacharach in 1997, which features a bacchanalia of Burt by the likes of Fred Frith, Elliot Sharp and Medeski, Martin & Wood. Hot stuff. You'll either hate the songs or the artists. Only six letters down the CD bin is John Hartford's Aereo-Plain (Rounder), a mix of Bill Monroe tradition and marijuana-fueled hippie jamming. The quirky 1971 release may be the best bluegrass album ever recorded.

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