J.D. MCPHERSON, Undivided Heart and Soul (New West): 3½ Stars

The native Oklahoman signals early that he’s lost none of his literate imagination, referencing poets “Rosetti and Poe” and Darjeeling tea during the steady-chugging “Crying’s Just a Thing You Do,” co-written with Butch Walker. Riffing guitars and harmonies evoke the Kinks throughout “Style (Is a Losing Game),” while the Animals echo behind “Let’s Get Out of Here While We’re Young,” co-written with Aaron Lee Tasjan. That vintage ’60s flavor characterized 2015’s soulful “Let the Good Times Roll,” but — beyond the swoony “Hunting for Sugar” and “Jubilee”— this set feels closer to the garage than the bedroom. At the Regent Theatre in Downtown LA Saturday, Oct. 14. jdmcpherson.com

KAMASI WASHINGTON, Harmony of Difference (Young Turks): 3 Stars

“Humility.” “Perspective.” “Integrity.” After his career-changing 2015 opus “The Epic,” LA’s jazz lion returns with an EP addressing complex ideas like coexistence. It’s a heavy concept the ambitious saxophonist explores via counterpoint, showing how disparate elements can join in harmony — and even, as they do during the 13-and-a-half minute closer “Truth,” with celebration. Originally created for a multimedia installation at the Whitney Biennial, the music’s luster dims without accompanying visuals, despite compelling, dynamic performances. kamasiwashington.com

THE BARR BROTHERS, Queens of the Breakers (Secret City): 4 Stars

On the third album from Andrew and Brad Barr and harpist Sarah Pagé, “Song That I Heard” ripples with an acoustic Simon & Garfunkel vibe, but it’s like a light piercing the storm of Andrew’s low drum thunder and Pagé’s eerie harp effects. Mamadou Koita’s n’goni magnifies the pulse of “Kompromat”; the Warhol Dervish Strings deepen the shadowy mood of “You Would Have to Lose Your Mind”; Michael Felber’s requinto stirs up angry rocker “It Came to Me”; and angelic harmonies from Lucius represent hard memories and hope on “Defibrillation.” An intelligent, thoughtfully layered album that deserves focused listening. thebarrbrothers.com

DUKE ROBILLARD, And His Dames of Rhythm (M.C. Records): 3 Stars

Robillard pulls out his acoustic archtop guitar for this handsomely produced “serious bucket list dream,” playing choice 1920s-’30s Tin Pan Alley gems with his rhythm section, a terrific horn section, and a formidable cast of vocalists. “Downton Abbey” actress Elizabeth McGovern’s take on “Me, Myself and I” is a throwaway novelty, but Madeleine Peyroux proves her swinging mettle, Catherine Russell and Maria Muldaur deliver earthy, impeccably timed readings, and Sunny Crownover and Kelley Hunt hold their own amidst a heavyweight crew. Musical escapism performed with style and feeling. dukerobillard.com