In no particular order:
- Fred Anderson & Hamid Drake: Back Together Again—They’ve never been apart for long, and it shows on a CD of great wisdom, power and exultation
- Vinny Golia: A Taste for the Unusual – Is a CD of duets with bass sax unusual enough for you? Golia plays the monster with the wit and pathos of Ben Webster.
- Roberto Juan Rodriguez: Baila! Gitano Baila! – Rodriguez’s seductive klezmer/clave thing is ridiculously entertaining.
- The Klezmatics: Rise Up! Shteyt Oyf! – It’s not jazz? So what! Balm for the Blue State Blues.
- Douglas, Sclavis, Lee, van der Schyff: Bow River Falls “Chamber jazz” may be a cliche, but nothing else about this supple Canadian/French/American quartet is.
- The Nels Cline Singers: The Giant Pin – The thinking man’s guitar hero goes deep, and scores.
- Marilyn Crispell Quartet: Storyteller —The tears of the martyr in a crystal vessel. A single Motian cymbal ping has the expressive power of a volume of Neruda.
- Dirty Dozen Brass Band: Funeral for a Friend – “Jesus is on the main line. Tell him what you want.” I want more of this.
- Dave Burrell Full Blown Trio: E x p a n s i o n—38 years (38!) is a long time between sessions as a leader, but this one was worth the wait.
- Mark Dresser & Ray Anderson: Nine Songs Together – A coupla old friends tellin’ lies, playin’ the dozens.
John Chacona (Signal to Noise, Coda, Erie (PA) Times-News)
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