No longer based in New York, the international soul-jazz-funk collective follows 2015’s “Funk Ain’t Ova” with a smartly arranged set animated by hopeful spirit and British soul diva Alison Limerick, whose frequently remixed 1991 dance hit “Where Love Lives” (written and produced by BFE bassist/bandleader Lati Kronlund) gets a smooth redo here. Limerick’s expressive vocals intensify the feel of standouts like “No Strings,” “Bakabana” and the ’80s-vibed, Black Lives Matter-inspired “Watcha Want From Me” (updated from Frankie Knuckles’ 1995 recording). Recommended if you’re jonesing for funk, disco and “quiet storm” nostalgia.

PONCHO SANCHEZ, Trane’s Delight  (Concord): ***½

The Grammy-winning conguero, once a regular presence on Old Town Pasadena stages, pays homage to early inspiration John Coltrane with spirited interpretations of classic Coltrane tunes as well as a few sympatico original compositions. Sanchez’s tasteful playing receives invaluable support from eloquent pianist Andy Langham (note their soulful reading of Oscar Ivan Guiliani’s “Si Te Dicen”), saxophonist Robert Hardt, trombonist/musical director Francisco Torres and trumpeter Ron Blake (Duke Ellington’s “The Feeling of Jazz,” a lighthearted cha-cha through “Blue Train”), and inspires a return to Coltrane’s original recordings. At the Grammy Museum in Downtown LA Thursday, Sept. 26.

JAMIE DRAKE, Everything’s Fine  (AntiFragile): ****

A widely respected background singer and too well-kept secret in LA’s songwriter community, Drake promises “Everything’s Fine” throughout her melodic opener, her light-touch intonation and occasionally dusky tones reminiscent of Imogen Heap as she resolves to leave heartbreak behind. That sets a forward-looking tone for this sparkling album, which is more assured and handsomely arranged than 2010’s “When I Was Yours,” with lush strings, cascading harps and harmonies evoke midcentury pop and film scores during subsequent gems like “Redwood Tree,” “Wonder” and setpiece “To My Love.” A keeper. Release party Thursday, Sept. 19, at Nichols Canyon Music in LA.,

ALEX CUBA, Sublime (Caracol): ****

The Cuban-born, British Columbia-based songwriter played all the instruments on this, his sixth solo album, an acoustic folk-jazz-soul set that’s easy on the ear. That’s appropriate, as Cuba’s uplifting songs repeatedly exalt creativity, tolerance and hope. The beautiful melodic flow of “Voz De Corazones” is gradually bolstered by handclaps and choral chants, and a cheery pop hook further elevates the sunny cumbia “Cantando De Alegría.” Kelvis Ochoa subtly reinforces Cuba’s message during “Ciudad Hembra (La Habana),” and Buena Vista Social Club vocalist Omara Portuondo’s elegant phrasing graces “Y Si Mañana,” but Cuba needs little help creating a positive musical refuge.