Jan 14, 2011
I try to begin each new year with a look back at the most memorable releases I had the pleasure to listen to over the previous twelve months. These are not necessarily the "best" of 2010, just a few of my favorite things, like:
Danilo Perez – Providencia.
Jason Moran - Ten
Cassandra Wilson - Silver Pony
Charles Lloyd Quartet - Mirror
Vijay Ayer - Solo
New Things from Old Friends
Geri Allen - Flying Towards the Sound
Randy Weston - The Storyteller: Live at Dizzy's Coca-Cola
The Bad Plus - Never Stop
Houston Person - Moment to Moment
Azar Lawrence - Mystic Journey
New Artists and Those Hitting Their Stride
Gregory Porter - Water
Esperanza Spalding - Chamber Music Society
Trombone Shorty - Backatown
Catherine Russell - Inside This Heart of Mine
Tia Fuller - Decisive Steps
Memorable Reissues, Archival Albums and Compilations
Vince Guaraldi - The Definitive Vince Guaraldi
Sonny Rollins - Way Out West
Stan Getz & Keny Barron - People Time: The Complete Recordings
Miles Davis - Bitches Brew 40th Annviersary Collector's Edition
Various Artists - CTI Records - The Cool Revolution
Tribute Albums of Note
Conrad Herwig - The Latin Side of Herbie Hancock
Nellie McKay - As Normal as Blueberry Pie: A Tribute to Doris Day
Cheryl Bentyne - The Gershwin Songbook
Billy Cobham and the Colin Towns HR Big Band - Meeting of the Spirits:A Celebration of the Mahavishnu Orchestra
Mingus Big Band - Live at the Jazz Standard
Reunions and Collaborations of Note
Bill Charlap and Renee Rosnes - Double Portrait
Ran Blake and Sara Serpa - Camera Obscura
Keith Jarrett/Charlie Haden - Jasmine
Rudresh Mahanthappa and Bunky Green - Apex
Ralph Towner/Paolo Fresu - Chiaroscuro
Podcast 202 lets you hear some selections from these wonderful albums, including:
Charles Lloyd Quartet - "Lift Every Voice and Sing" from Mirrors. A dreamy selection of recordings, both originals and traditional African-American tunes like this one. The band is sublime - Lloyd on saxophone, Jason Moran on piano, Reuben Rogers on double bass and Eric Harland on drums. I'm looking forward to catching the band in Western Mass later this month.
Cassandra Wilson - "A Day in the Life of a Fool" from Silver Pony. Last year it was her return to standards. This year, it's a dizzying mix of old, new, jazzy, folky, studio and live. Here is unique version of a Brazilian standard, with
Geri Allen - "Red Velvet in Winter" from Flying Toward the Sound. Geri had a very good year - her line album with Timeline was also worthy of note, but it was this solo piano album that really floored me.
Trombone Shorty - "Hurricane Season" from Backatown. Pure New Orleans fun - is it jazz? Funk? R&B? Pass me another beer and we'll dance to it.
Randy Weston - "African Sunrise" from The Storyteller: Live at Dizzy's Coca Cola. I can't say Randy Weston every went away, and yet this live CD seemed to be something of a comeback for the venerable pianist. Chock full of insightful new arrangements of Weston classics, the sextet of Weston, Benny Powell on trombone, TK Blue on flute and sax, Alex Blake on bass, Lewis Nash on drums and Neil Clarke on percussion took no prisoners.
Danilo Perez - "Cobilla" from Providencia. Probably my favorite album all year, Danilo celebrates his children with small group, duo and solo pieces that put him at the top of the most imaginative players and writers of today.