JJA Members' 2001 Top 10 CDs - Part II

JJA Members' 2001 Top 10 CDs - Part II

JJA members have been asked to submit their top 10 (or so) lists of cds released in calendar year 2001 -- the following are posted in order and style in which they were received, from: Reuben Jackson, Drew Wheeler, Bob Blumenthal, Willard Jenkins, Dan Morgenstern, Nils Jacobson, Dioni Pitkowski, Bill Milkowski, Stuart Broomer, Jim Macnie, Bill Smith, Eduardo Hojman, Geoff Himes, Alan Chase, Tad Hendrickson, Fred Jung, and Paul Blair.

[ Part I is here ]
[ The consensus report is here ]

copyright © 2002 by the contributors


Reuben Jackson Top 10

Reuben Jackson is poet laureate of the Jazz Journalist Association.

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Drew Wheeler Top 10

This is my top 10 jazz albums list for 2001. It's in alphabetical order only.

Drew Wheeler is jazz editor of CDNow.com.

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Bob Blumenthal Top 10

My Top 10, alphabetically as always, and limited to new releases of non-historic vintage as always, is:

Bob Blumenthal writes for the Boston Globe and Jazz Times among other publications, and is a master of the liner note.

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Willard Jenkins Top 10 for 2001, in no particular order

Peace,

Willard Jenkins, Jazz Times, WPFW, BETonJazz, Music is an Open Sky, vice president of the JJA

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Dan Morgenstern Top 10 (not ranked or alphabetical)

Dan Morgenstern, Head Honcho, Institute of Jazz Studies

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Nils Jacobson Top 15

Nils Jacobson, Managing Editor, All About Jazz.

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Dioni Pitkowski

just short notice from jazzy POLAND !
Yeah - may be the best and top jazz albums from this side of the world will be similar to US bestsellers. I don't make any special point --- and just only choice my ten favorite of 2001:

Dioni Pitkowski
broadcaster, jazz historian & author,
promotor of ERA JAZZU concerts series & festival POLAND

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Bill Milkowski Top 10

  1. Keith Jarrett/Gary Peacock/Jack DeJohnette, Inside Out (ECM)
  2. Lee Konitz, Parallells (Chesky)
  3. John Scofield, Works For Me (Verve)
  4. Tom Harrell, Paradise (BMG/Bluebird)
  5. Matt Wilson, Arts and Crafts (Palmetto)
  6. Henry Threadgill & Make A Move, Everybody's Mouth's A Book (Pi)
  7. Greg Osby, Symbols of Light (A Solution) (Blue Note)
  8. Bill Frisell, With Dave Holland and Elvin Jones, self-titled (Nonesuch)
  9. Hasidic New Wave & Yakar Rhythms, From The Belly of Abraham (Knitting Factory Works)
  10. Dave Pietro, Standard Wonder: The Music of Stevie Wonder (A Records)

Bill Milkowski formerly lived in New Orleans, the city that care forgot, and current resides in New York, the city that forgot to care. He contributes regularly to Jazz Times, Jazziz and a number of publications overseas. His latest book is Swing It! An Annotated History of Jive (Billboard Books). He is set to take over head writing duties for "JazzLives!," an hour-long television show on the BET network, scheduled to air in April.

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Stuart Broomer Top 10

Stuart Broomer is the editor of Coda, the journal of jazz and improvised music.

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Jim Macnie Jazz Top 10 (as published in the Providence Phoenix)

  1. Jason Moran, Black Stars (Blue Note). The pianist's strength is in casting elliptical ideas in purposeful ways, and the musical architecture on his third and best disc continuously folds in on itself. But he's a swinger, too, dedicating a large part of his time to propulsion. So an extroverted pleasure resounds in every passage, and the decision to include veteran saxophonist Sam Rivers explains a lot about Moran's sense of direction.
  2. Bruce Barth, East and West (MaxJazz). The pianist is known for his trio work, but here he writes several charts for four reeds, proving his versatility and creating some truly rich sounds. Barth is about vantage points: he hears standards in keenly singular ways, and his natural grace usually gives their often unusual execution an irrefutable logic.
  3. Michael Moore, Jewels and Binoculars (Ramboy). This Amsterdam-based American clarinetist leads a trio through an all-Dylan book that tests a key pop thesis: that the songwriter's words are more important than his melodies. There's a great simplicity driving this reeds/bass/drums outing. The musicians effect Zimmy's original eloquence by stressing the power of subtlety and opting for romance at several turns.
  4. Spring Heel Jack, Masses (Thirsty Ear). A pair of Brit soundscapists reshapes a bunch of tracks from New York progressives, including Matthew Shipp, Tim Bern, and Mat Maneri. The result illustrates just how lucid and thought-through abstraction can really be.
  5. Matt Wilson, Arts and Crafts (Palmetto). Its devotion to melody is so great, you could almost consider it a pop disc. The NYC drummer understands that themes propel players and tickle listers, so George Gershwin, Roland Kirk, Bud Powell, and a scad of Wilson's own works are chosen for their indelible sense of "song."
  6. Craig Taborn, Light Made Lighter (Thirsty Ear). James Carter's Detroit pal is a pianist of weight, and his first domestic record found him reminding us that trio work can be both elaborate and intricate. Regardless of where this program dallies -- knotty squalls, tranquil reflections -- it always its personality on forward motion. Monk's shadow looms, but Taborn has plenty of fresh ideas.
  7. The Bad Plus (Fresh Sounds). There's a wiseacre tone behind some of the chosen pop pieces. Abba's "Knowing Me, Knowing You" creates a mood of mischief -- harmonic neck-wringing, splashy faux melancholy -- that tells you this trio of pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson, and drummer Dave King use sarcasm as a vehicle for creativity. And creative it is. They're melody mongers, demanding their original tunes be just as catchy as their improv is resourceful.
  8. Miles Davis, Live at the Fillmore East (March 7, 1970): It's About Time (Columbia). Titled such because it's the first non-boot issue of this particular band. But the moniker also toys with the way the trumpeter's electric group -- Corea, DeJohnette, Airto, and Shorter (on his last night as part of the crew) -- mess with rhythms, chop up pulses, and bend enough cadences to create one of the most rabid and imaginative concerts ever heard at the mighty Fillmore East.
  9. Bill Mays, Summer Sketches (Palmetto). Gentility mixes with feistiness in a concept disc about the fair season that knows enough to present more than noonday radiance and sunset pastels. Here's a piano trio that's dedicated to working the nuances of a tune.
  10. Luciana Souza, Brazilian Duos (Sunnyside), and Kurt Elling, Flirting with Twilight (Blue Note). Two vocalist discs that fed me what I needed. Elling's horn section created a terrific backdrop for his spin through myriad ballads. Souza's cat and mouse game with a handful of guitarists show just how bewitching samba/bossa can be, and just how much musicianship it takes to convincingly extrapolate on it.

Jim Macnie writes for Down Beat, as well as the Providence Phoenix and other publications.

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Bill Smith Top 10

bill smith & sheila macpherson
deaf cat lane, the shire
hornby island, bc v0r 1z0
www.vancouverjazz.com/billsmith
vancouverjazz.com/billsmith/photo
- Editor Emeritus Coda Magazine

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Eduardo Hojman Tops of 2001

this is my list, which will be incomplete since we don't get many new recordings down here, specially after our Marxist (Marx Brothers) comedy of errors with our state of siege, five presidents in a row, devaluation of our currency, etc.

Some of these were launched in 2000, but I see older issues in some of the other lists at the site. These are not in any particular order.

Eduardo Hojman - Argentine journalist, editor, translator and writer. Contributes irregularly for Clarin, Pagina 12, Pagina 30 (Argentina); El Pais (Uruguay); ABC (Spain); Down Beat (USA).

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Geoff Himes Best Albums Of 2001

  1. Jason Moran: "Black Stars" (Blue Note) There is a long tradition of jazz artists who combine the avant-garde and the traditional in ways that balance risk and structure, fresh vision and prior history. To this lineage of Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus and Sam Rivers, we must now add Moran. This 26-year-old pianist joins Rivers himself on the year's best jazz album.
  2. Bill Frisell: "Blue Dreams" (Nonesuch) The hero of lower Manhattan's avant-garde jazz scene has discovered the roots-music of the American hinterland on his recent albums and never with more rewarding results than on this disc. The sustained phrases of his guitar instrumentals begin like traditional rural singers and end like research scientists.
  3. Andrew Cyrille/Mark Dresser/Marty Ehrlich: "C/D/E" (Jazz Magnet)
  4. Henry Threadgill's Zooid: "Up Popped the Two Lips" (Pi) Jazz saxophonist Threadgill released two impressive albums this year, but this one--with tuba, cello and oud--created such a distinctive new sound for the leader's disorienting, disarming compositions that it proved the more memorable.
  5. Cyrus Chestnut: "Soul Food" (Atlantic) Instead of imitating Art Blakey and Horace Silver as so many of his peers do, Baltimore pianist Chestnut is drawing directly from the original gospel and blues sources as his predecessors did and combining them just as imaginatively.
  6. Abdullah Ibrahim: "Ekapa Lodumo" (Tip Toe/Enja)
  7. Greg Osby: "Symbols of Light (A Solution)" (Blue Note) The most restless explorer in jazz today combines his regular quartet (featuring Jason Moran) and a string quartet to come up with an album that staggers and soothes, soothes and staggers.
  8. The Joshua Redman Quartet: "Passage of Time" (Warner Bros.) The 32-year-old Joshua Redman makes a conspicuous gesture to cast off his young-prodigy jacket and don the coat of the mature jazz artist. He has composed a 45-minute suite in eight movements for the acoustic jazz quartet he has collaborated with over the past two years. Not only does this ambitious gamble pay off, but it does so in a way that distinguishes Redman from his predecessors and peers.
  9. The David Murray Power Quartet: "Like a Kiss That Never Ends" (Justin Time)
  10. The Dave Holland Quintet: "Not for Nothin'" (ECM)

Geoffrey Himes writes about jazz for the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore City Paper, Jazz Times and others.

GeoffHimes@aol.com

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Alan Chase -- Top 10 Jazz Recordings 2001
Portsmouth Herald, Portsmouth N.H.

Listed Alphabetically by artist:

Alan Chase is a free-lance writer and musician based in the New Hampshire seacoast region. He writes for Spotlight Magazine, a publication of the Portsmouth Herald/Seacoast Newspapers, and also contributes to the newsletter for the Seacoast Jazz Society and other publications. He can be reached at spotlight@seacoastonline.com.

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Tad Hendrickson Top 10

Tad Hendrickson is a columnist for College Music Journal, and writes for many other publications.

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Fred Jung Top 10

  1. Cecil Taylor - It Is In The Brewing Luminous - hatOLOGY
  2. Miles Davis - 1970 - Miles Davis at Fillmore East - Columbia/Legacy
  3. Fred Anderson - On the Run: Live at the Velvet Lounge - Delmark
  4. Vandermark 5 - Burn the Incline - Atavistic
  5. Fred Anderson - Dark Day + Live in Verona - Atavistic Unheard Music Series
  6. Howard Riley/Barry Guy/Tony Oxley - Overground - Emanem
  7. John Coltrane - The Olatunji Concert - Impulse!
  8. Joe McPhee - Trinity - Atavistic Unheard Music Series
  9. Peter Brotzmann/Peeter Uuskyla/Peter Friis Nielsen - Live at Nefertiti - Ayler
  10. Jason Moran - Black Star - Blue Note

Fred Jung
Editor
Jazz Weekly
93.5 FM KFOX Radio
Korea Times

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Paul Blair Top 10

I've long been philosophically opposed to Ten Best lists of any kind (although, of course, I read them avidly). So here instead is an alphabetical rundown of the ten albums I've listened to most often over the past year. Gee, some aren't even all that new.

The akLaff effort is definitely worth hearing. But good luck locating it:

you can order it only through a website that you'll learn about only from the back of the CD itself! I also admire another Blake project called "Kingdom of Champa" on the Danish label Intuition. Bob Dorough is surely the cure for all that ails America. I've never understood how this particular Jerome Harris CD was overlooked -- all Dolphy tunes and splendid playing from a stellar group beautifully recorded (especially Bill Ware's shimmering vibes).

Bill Mays' self-produced disc presents a perfectly balanced piano trio in a warm and witty program. I'm also wildly enthusiastic about a 1998 live-at-Birdland CD by Pierre Dorge & New Jungle Orchestra that hasn't yet been issued.

Paul Blair, membership secretary of the JJA and longtime radio broadcaster, finds the original Black Dalia murder case far more intriguing than the recent album allegedly inspired by it.

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C o m m e n t s

Eduardo adds one more 1 of 1
Eduardo Hojman January 18, 02

Moreno Veloso (Moreno + 2): Máquina de Escrever Música - Natasha Records.

Moreno is Caetano Veloso's son, and he made a recording which is a feast of subtlety, sweetness, irony and anachronism.

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