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Straight No Chaser - A Jazz Show

Welcome to Straight No Chaser, the Award-winning Podcast hosted by Jeffrey Siegel

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:

Notable Releases 

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.