Archive for the ‘Top 10, 2009’ Category

Steve Feeney top ten 2009

December 12th 2009

  1. The Bright Mississippi- Allen Toussaint (Nonesuch)
  2. Historicity-Vijay Iyer Trio (ACT)
  3. This Brings Us To Vol.1-Henry Threadgill Zooid (PI)
  4. On Broadway Vol.5- Paul Motian Trio 2000+Two (Winter&Winter)
  5. My One and Only Thrill-Melody Gardot (Verve)
  6. Duos with Lee-DanTepfer/Lee Konitz (Sunnyside)
  7. Third Occasion-David Binney (Mythology)
  8. Folk Art-Joe Lovano US Five (Blue Note)
  9. Not By Chance-Joe Martin (Anzic)
  10. Quartet Live- Burton, Metheny, Swallow, Sanchez (Concord Jazz)

Steve Feeney
Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram

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Jason Crane: Top 10 plus

December 11th 2009

I feel a little ridiculous ranking these incredible albums (and only these), given the near impossibility of rating art and the sheer number of CDs released this and every year. That said, I was happy to be asked to compile the list below for the 2009 Village Voice Jazz Critics Poll.

TOP 10

Artist – Album (Label)

  1. Fay Victor – The FreeSong Suite (Greene Avenue)
  2. Vijay Iyer – Historicity (ACT)
  3. Darius Jones – Man’ish Boy (AUM Fidelity)
  4. The Fully Celebrated – Drunk On The Blood Of The Holy Ones (AUM Fidelity)
  5. The Respect Sextet – Sirius Respect (Mode)
  6. Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls – Seize The Time (Naim)
  7. Digital Primitives – Hum Crackle & Pop (Hopscotch)
  8. Terence Blanchard – Choices (Concord)
  9. Steve Lehman – Travail, Transformation & Flow (Pi Recordings)
  10. Kat Edmonson – Take To The Sky (Convivium)

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Stuart Broomer: 25 Favorite CDs

December 11th 2009

Stuart Broomer

Contributor: All About Jazz-New York; Musicworks; Point of Departure; Signal to Noise; Toronto Life.



Derek Bailey & Agusti Fernandez A Silent Dance (Incus)

Samuel Blaser Quartet Pieces of Old Sky (Clean Feed)

Anthony Braxton/ Maral Yakshieva Improvisations (duo) 2008 (SLYD Records)

John Butcher Group somethingtobesaid (Weight of Wax)

Circulasione Totale Orchestra bandwidth (rune)

Marilyn Crispell Live at Nya Perspektiv Festivals (Leo)

Die Enttäuschung (Rudi Mahall, Axel Dörner, et al.) Die Enttäuschung (Intakt)

Peter Evans Nature/Culture (psi)

Fast ‘n’ Bulbous Waxed Oop (Cuneiform)

John Hébert Byzantine Monkey (Firehouse 12)

Komeda Project Requiem WM Records

Joëlle Léandre / George Lewis Transatlantic Visions (RogueArt)

Tony Malaby’s Apparitions Voladores Clean Feed

Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble The Moment’s Energy (ECM)

Eddie Prévost/ Ross Lambert/ Seymour Wright Invenio ergo/sum (Matchless)

John Zorn O’o (Tzadik)

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Joe Lang: Top 10, 2009

December 9th 2009

In no particular order:

Terry Vosbein & The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra -Progressive Jazz 2009 (Max Frank Music – 001) – A superb concert of progressive big band jazz.

Bud Shank – Fascinating Rhythms (Jazzed Media – 1045) – Bud’s last recording. He was right there until the end.

Dave Tull – I Just Want to Get Paid (Toy Car – 0110) – A witty and engaging set of original tunes.

Quadro Nuevo – Cine Passion (Justin Time – 8540) – Engaging from first note to last.

Mike Vax Big Band – Sounds from the Road (Summit – 5187) – Inspired by Kenton, but these cats are no mere imitations.

Hilary Kole – Haunted Heart (Justin Time – 8543) – A long overdue first album by a terrific vocal talent.

Bob Florence Limited Edition – Legendary (MMA -1037) – A fitting tribute to one of the great modern big band arrangers.

Mark Winkler – Till I Get It Right (Free Ham Records – 0907) – It is nice that there are still some hipsters around the scene.

Daryl Sherman – Johnny Mercer: A Centennial Celebration (Arbors – 19388) – This would have put a smile on Mr. Mercer’s face.

Randy Sandke – Randy Sandke’s Jazz for Juniors (Arbors – 19385) – A perfect way to introduce kids to jazz, and engage the adults at the same time.

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Nancy Barell: Top 10 for 2009

December 9th 2009

Not necessarily in this order:

1. Frank Sinatra “Live At The Meadowlands”

2.  Laurence Hobgood “When The Heart Dances”

3. Roberta Gambarini “So In Love”

4. George Colligan “Come Together”

5. Tony DeSare “Radio Show”

6. Jackie Ryan  “Doozy”

7. Terrence Blanchard  “Choices”

8. Kurt Elling  “Dedicated To You”

9. Bud Shank “Fascinating Rhythms”

10. Curtis Steigers “Lost In Dreams”

Nancy Barell
“Jazz Spotlight On Sinatra”

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Michael J. West: Top 13 of 2009, et al.

December 8th 2009

  1. Ramsey Lewis  – Songs From the Heart: Ramsey Plays Ramsey (Concord Jazz)
  2. Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society – Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam)
  3. Rakalam Bob Moses – Father’s Day B’hash (Sunnyside)
  4. Gretchen Parlato – In A Dream (ObliqSound)
  5. Vijay Iyer – Historicity (ACT Music + Vision)
  6. Arve Henriksen – Cartography (ECM)
  7. Steve Lehman – Travail, Transformation & Flow (Pi)
  8. Joe Lovano’s Us Five – Folk Art (Blue Note)
  9. Jeff “Tain” Watts – Watts (Dark Key Music)
  10. Robert Glasper – Double Booked (Blue Note)
  11. Giovanni Guidi – The Unknown Rebel Band (CAM Jazz)
  12. Stefon Harris & Blackout – Urbanus (Concord Jazz)
  13. Tyshawn Sorey – Koan (Pi)

From the Archives:

  1. Roscoe Mitchell Art Ensemble – Congliptious (Nessa)
  2. Tony Bennett & Bill Evans – The Complete Tony Bennett & Bill Evans Recordings on Fantasy (Concord Jazz)
  3. Tony Williams – Spring (Blue Note)
  4. Wadada Leo Smith – Spirit Catcher (Nessa)
  5. Scott LaFaro – Pieces of Jade (Resonance)

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Howard Mandel’s Top 11 of 2009

December 8th 2009

My 11 top CDs of 2009 blow past conventions to enrich jazz, blues, new and unusual music. They’re chosen from almost 1000 I received for review — an abundance of fine releases since November 2008, the full year following Barack Obama’s election to president.

Maybe it’s coincidence that fresh thinking, spirited energy and practical creativity runs high  at this moment in history — or maybe it’s that 2009’s challenges require musicians like everyone else to find new answers to the tough questions: how to find joy amid gloom, work to harmonize and stand independently, keep the beat and take time out, too. The following CDs (most also available as MP3 downloads), are pleasures from the past 12 months I recommend for their surprises and soulfulness. Listed in no particular order. For complete annotations and a list of more-than-honorable mentions, see my blog posting.

Henry Threadgill Zooid, This Brings Us To, Vol. 1 (Pi)

The Thirteenth Assembly (Bynum, Fujiwara, Halvorson, Pavone), (un)sentimental (Important Records)

Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, Infermal Machines (New Amsterdam Records)

Charles Tolliver Big Band, Emperor March (Half Note)

Steve Lehman Octet, Travail, Transformation, and Flow (Pi)

Bela Fleck, Throw Down Your Heart, Tales from the Acoustic Planet, Vol. 3: Africa Sessions (Rounder)

Kurt Elling, Dedicated to You (Concord

Keith Jarrett, Paris/London: Testament (ECM)

Indigo Trio (Mitchell-Bankhead-Drake), Anaya (Rogue Art)

Allen Toussaint, The Bright Mississippi (Nonesuch)

Digital Primitives, Hum Crackle and Pop (Hopscotch)

— Howard Mandel,, Down Beat, City Arts-New York, The Wire, So Jazz (see my cover interview with Keith Jarrett in the Dec 09 issue), NPR

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Hank Shteamer: 2009 Jazz Top 10, and more

December 8th 2009

Top 10 Jazz Albums of 2009

1. Ran Blake Driftwoods (Tompkins Square)

2. Chad Taylor Circle Down (482 Music)

3. Jon Irabagon with Mike Pride I Don’t Hear Nothin’ but the Blues (Loyal Label)

4. John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble Eternal Interlude (Sunnyside)

5. Darius Jones Trio Man’ish Boy (A Raw and Beautiful Thing) (Aum Fidelity)

6. Henry Threadgill Zooid This Brings Us To, Volume 1 (Pi)

7. Borah Bergman Trio Luminescence (Tzadik)

8. Jim Black AlasNoAxis Houseplant (Winter & Winter)

9. Charles Evans and Neil Shah Live at Saint Stephens (Hot Cup)

10. Loren Stillman Winter Fruits (Pirouet)



Miles Davis Quintet Live in Europe ’67 [DVD, available with The Complete Miles Davis Columbia Album Collection]

Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original by Robin D.G. Kelley (Free Press)

Click past the jump for ten honorable-mention discs and seven live shows.

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David R. Adler: Top 25 of 2009, plus

December 7th 2009

1. David S. Ware, Shakti (Aum Fidelity)
2. Miguel Zenón, Esta Plena (Marsalis Music)
3. Gerald Clayton, Two-Shade (ArtistShare)
4. Vijay Iyer Trio, Historicity (ACT)
5. Steve Lehman Octet, Travail Transformation & Flow (Pi)
6. Herculaneum, Herculaneum III (Clean Feed)
7. David Binney, Third Occasion (Mythology)
8. Edward Simon Trio, Poesía (Cam Jazz)
9. Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam)
10. SFJazz Collective, Live 2009: The Works of McCoy Tyner (SFJazz)
11. Julian Lage, Sounding Point (Decca/Emarcy)
12. Ben Wendel, Simple Song (Sunnyside)
13. Kurt Rosenwinkel Standards Trio, Reflections (Wommusic)
14. Abdullah Ibrahim, Senzo (WDR/Sunnyside)
15. Keith Jarrett, Testament (ECM)
16. Stefon Harris’s Blackout, Urbanus (Concord)
17. John Patitucci, Remembrance (Concord)
18. Marcus Strickland, Idiosyncrasies (Strick Muzik)
19. John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, Eternal Interlude (Sunnyside)
20. Linda Oh Trio, Entry (ind.)
21. Fred Hersch Plays Jobim (Sunnyside)
22. Samuel Blaser, Pieces of Old Sky (Clean Feed)
23. Henry Threadgill’s ZOOID, This Brings Us To, Volume 1 (Pi)
24. Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Strings, Renegades (Delmark)
25. Claudia Acuña, En Este Momento (Marsalis Music)

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Christian Broecking: Best of 2009

December 7th 2009

1. David Murray “Live at the Lower Manhattan Ocean Club” (Jazzwerkstatt)

2. Henry Threadgill “This brings us to, Vol.1” (Pi)

3. Steve Lehman “Travail. Transformation, and Flow” (PI)

4. Jen Shyu “Jade Tongue”  (Jen Shyu)

5. Ralph Towner, Paolo Fresu “Chiaroscuro” (ecm)

6. Christian Lillingers Grund “First Reason” (Clean feed)

7. C.O.D.E. Ken Vandermark, Max Nagl u. a. “play the music of O. Coleman and E. Dolphy” (Handsemmel Rec. Crack)

8. Positive Catastrophe ”Garabatos Vol.1“ (Cuneiform)

9. Joshua Redman “Compass” (Nonesuch)

10. Vijay Iyer “Historicity” (ACT)

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