Tuesday, January 3, 2012

George's Best Jazz of 2011 - A Start

Here's my list, in random order, of great jazz from 2011, which could have been three times as long! I'd love to add your favorites to the list. What's moved you in jazz in the past year?

Will Patton - "Flow" - www.wpatton.com
Vermont mandolinist plays jazz, Brazilian, jazzgrass & musette musics.

Terell Stafford – “This Side Of Strayhorn” – MaxJazz
Trumpeter tackles Billy Strayhorn – both win.

David Murray Cuban Ensemble – “Plays Nat King Cole En Espanol” – Motema
Tenor sax player does Nat King Cole ala Cuban – everyone dances.

Aurora Nealand – “The Royal Roses” – www. Auroranealand.com
Young soprano sax player in live Preservation Hall Sidney Bechet tribute.

3 Cohens – “Family” – Anzic Records
Anat, Yuval & Avishai with guest vocalist Jon Hendricks in spirited arrangements of old and new classics.

Christian McBride – “Conversations With Christian” – Mack Avenue
One album of duets with “It’s Your Thing” shinning above all other songs

Christian McBride Big Band – “The Good Feeling” – Mack Avenue
And one spirited Big Band. Two sides of a great bass player.

Enrico Rava Quintet – “Tribe” – ECM
Italian trumpeter at his peak with superb ensemble.

James Carter Organ Trio –“At The Crossroads” - EmArcy
Gritty alto & organ, sweat drippin’ fatback. Very danceable.

Les Doigts De L’ Homme – “1910” – Alma Records
Of all the Django-style groups out there this French quartet has IT.

Roswell Rudd – “The Incredible Honk” – Sunnyside
Duets, ensembles all held together with humor and raw sound.

Monty Alexander – “Uplift” – Jazz Legacy Productions
Monty Alexander - “Harlem-Kingston Express” – Motema
Jamaican pianist swinging hard through standards & Marley too.

Rene Marie – “Black Lace Freudian Slip” Motema
Rene Marie - “Voice Of My Beautiful Country” – Motema
One album of standards and one of her own steamy songs. Guess which is which.

Fred Hersch - “Alone At The Vanguard” – Palmetto
Never still, always quiet, Fred rules the Bill Evans school of solo piano.

Karrin Allyson – “’Round Midnight” – Concord Jazz
The height of this pianist/vocalist’s career, esp. the title duet.

Etienne Charles – “Kaiso” – Culture Shock
A trumpeter brings Calypso back to Bebop.

Marcin Wasilewski Trio – “Faithful” – ECM
A perfect ECM Polish piano trio – melodic and full of joyous space.

Alan Pasqua – “Twin Bill” – BFM
A tribute to another pianist, Bill Evans’s overdubbing duet pianos.

Terri Lyne Carrington – “The Mosaic Project” – Concord Jazz
Simply the greatest (and most successful) gathering of young female jazz players and vocalists ever put together.

Sonny Rollins – “Road Shows, Vol. 2” – Doxy
Live recordings of greatest living jazz tenor player . Hell -"greatest jazz musician" - period.

Vijay Iyer, Prasanna, Nitin Mitta – “Tirtha” – Act
Indian trio of piano, guitar & Indian percussion.

Michael Dease – “Grace” – Jazz Legacy Productions
Great straight-ahead trombone with guests to die for.

Eric Reed – “The Dancing Monk” –Savant
One of the most thoughtful, and swinging, Thelonious Monk trios.

Joe Lovano/Us Five – “Bird Songs” – Blue Note
Charlie Parker tunes done by a master with Esperanza Spalding, James Weidman and two drummer/percussionists.

Ambrose Akinmusire – “When The Heart Emerges Glistening” – Blue Note
Best CD title, best cover, trumpet with Gerald Clayton on piano.

Donald Harrison, Ron Carter, Billy Cobham – “This Is Jazz” – HalfNote
Alto sax, bass & drums soaked in New Orleans, live.

Gretchen Parlato – “The Lost And Found” – ObliqSound 113
Distinctive vocals, sound & Taylor Eigsti on piano.

Sophie Milman – “In The Moonlight” – EOne
Great vocalist in her prime, mostly standards.

Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra - "MTO Plays Sly" - The Royal Potato Family
Extraordinary gathering of jazz players & others with a tribute to Sly & The Family Stone

1 comment:

  1. Afrocubism: I don't know if it is jazz, but I like it.


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