JACOB BANKS, Village (Darkroom/Interscope): ***½

After several indie EPs, the Nigeria-born, UK-raised soul belter’s major label debut plays to mainstream ears with tougher, leaner production and a couple of tame missteps. Romance, truth and freedom are recurring themes, punched forth by Banks’ urgent, gutsy baritone over handsome arrangements of piano, acoustic guitar, trap drums, and a mood-shifting array of African, Jamaican, chain-gang and R&B rhythms. Standouts include the dramatic “Chainsmoking,” resurrected from 2017’s “The Boy Who Cried Freedom”; emotionally naked ballads “Slow Up” (“Love is just a decision/ The choice is yours”) and “Peace of Mind”; and pleading Seinabo Sey duet “Be Good to Me.” RIYL John Legend and Foy Vance. At the Fonda in Hollywood on Jan. 29. mrjacobbanks.com

ROSIE TURTON, Rosie’s 5ive (Jazz Re:Freshed): ***

The 26-year-old London trombonist and composer’s addition to Jazz Re:Freshed’s 5ive series is a set of thoughtful jazz conversations in which Turton is a contributing voice, not a dominating diva. Luke Newman’s spoken vocal on the raga-based “Stolen Ribs” provides a poetic, Eden-referencing breather before an exploratory cover of Herbie Hancock’s sinuous “Butterfly” in which violinist Johanna Burnheart, pianist Maria Chiara Argirò and drummer Jake Long shadow and answer Turton’s robust solos with expressive grace. rosieturton.bandcamp.com

JOE JACKSON, Fool (earMUSIC): ****

Known for his eclecticism and uncompromising intensity, the restlessly prolific British composer and musician has few peers (Elvis Costello, Randy Newman) when it comes to distinctive arrangements and melodies. His 20th studio album presents a suavely textured weave of pop, jazz and R&B threads, and positions him on an elevated plateau from which he waxes ruefully romantic (“32 Kisses”), excoriates “Fabulously Absolute” political tribalism (“Like I’m a fascist or a fool/ Who didn’t go to snooty school/ I get it wrong on the remote/ And even wronger when I vote”), and pitches the enduring virtues of friendship with a catchy ditty (“Friend Better”) on par with his “Night and Day” heyday. Bravo. joejackson.com

KRISTINA MURRAY, Southern Ambrosia (Loud Magnolia): ***

The Georgia native’s lightly grained vocals and taste for melodic story songs are reminiscent of “Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town”-era Emmylou Harris, an impression reinforced throughout her unassuming sophomore album by stylistic shifts between conscientious Americana (“Made in America,” the drowsy “Potter’s Field”), roadhouse rock (“The Ballad of Angel & Donnie”), ’90s-style country (“Slow Kill”), and soul-swaying balladry (“Tell Me”). If not a groundbreaker, it is an ear-pleasing showcase for Murray’s affecting voice and songwriting. kristinamurray.net