While most jazz imprints focus on plundering their back catalogs or desperately seeking hot producers to remix said oldies, Thirsty Ear strives to push the art forward with infusions of electronic, hip-hop, and classical elements. Here, inventive keyboardists Medeski and Shipp (with bassist William Parker, turntablist DJ Olive, and drummers Nasheet Waits and Mauricio Takara) have their intriguing motifs transformed by producer/engineer Hard (Kool Keith, Wu-Tang Clan). Hard threads Shipp’s and Medeski’s oblique shafts of piano and organ anomalies around intricate, robust rhythms. This compellingly strange disc suggests a fruitful path for 21st-century fusion to take.