• This Tuesday brings the most guest-list-heavy CD in recent memory, with Rhino Records' release of Small World Big Band Volume Two: More Friends from Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra. Fueled by big-band boogie-woogie, the album features classic standards such as "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" with the Stereophonics and a take on Bob Dylan's "You Got to Serve Somebody" with vocalist Marianne Faithfull.

You won't notice a lot of new features at this year's Hornucopia, because - as the first festival this year in The District of Rock Island - it carried with it some uncertainty. Namely, questions about how far along reconstruction of the Great River Plaza was going to be.

This year's Quad Cities Jazz Festival at first blush looks less impressive than previous incarnations. But appearances can be deceiving. You won't find much contemporary jazz this year, yet fans of the classic styles won't be disappointed.

As I was walking past our managing editor’s desk, the first thing I noticed about Quad Cities veteran players Driver of the Year’s latest EP, Some Girls Would Say … , was the artwork. It’s a plain black cover with a stylized green illustration of a nude woman lying with her head resting on the stomach of another nude woman.

• In cool-cover alert news, Tricky's new album, Vulnerable, is due this Tuesday and features two interpretations of note: XTC's "Dear God" and The Cure's " Love Cats." The new Anti Records album features his touring band and Italian singer Constanza Francavilla.

Most artistically successful groups evolve toward obscurity - think most recently of Radiohead and Wilco - crafting an idiosyncratic vision that wins admirers and praise but threatens to alienate the bands' core audiences.

• Two successful rock entities have jumped fences to their own greener pastures, each with an artist-owned label and upcoming CD. Serj Tankian has created a more personal home for his new Serart side project, a collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Arto Tunboyaciyan, using his clout as the frontman of the System of a Down juggernaut to establish his own Serjical Strike Records imprint.

• While America's war with Iraq is wrapping up quickly, Mordam Records has gathered together a peace-movement fundraiser of anti-war rumblings from today's most politically charged alternative artists. Due in mid-May, the two-CD set is simply entitled Peace Not War and features current singles and selected tracks from muckrakers such as Public Enemy, Ani DiFranco, Midnight Oil, Saul Williams, and Chumbawamba.

The local outfit The Marlboro Chorus has an easygoing, ambling style that’s belied by a keen attention to production and arrangement. What you’re left with on the group’s new album, “Good Luck” , is the lo-fi charm of a singer-songwriter such as Elliot Smith combined with playful but meticulous flourishes that remind me of The Flaming Lips.

• This Tuesday brings a new collaboration of jazz and funk masters, all bowing down to the P-Funk manifesto as The Clinton Administration. The new CD, One Nation Under a Re-Groove, also launches Magnatude Records, a new groove, funk, and jam boutique label through Magna Carta.