Monday, December 29, 2008

The best in jazz recordings in 2008

Here are one writer's choices for the top jazz recordings and reissues of 2008. Always keep in mind that top 10 listings of this sort reflect the reviewer's musical taste at the moment he/she does the evaluations. They only carry significant weight when the same recordings show up on many such lists. That being said, here we go:

The 10 best new jazz releases, listed alphabetically:
- Brian Blade, “Season of Changes” (Verve)
- Randy Brecker, “Randy in Brazil” (MAMA Records)
- Avishai Cohen Trio, “Gently Disturbed” (RazDaz)
- Donal Fox, “The Scarlatti Jazz Suite Project” (Leonellis Music)
- Melody Gardot, “Worrisome Heart” (Verve)
- Generations, “Tough Guys” (ICA)
- The Roy Hargrove Quintet, “Earfood” (Groovin’ High/EmArcy)
- Danilo Perez, “Across the Crystal Sea” (EmArcy)
- John Santos Quintet, “Perspectiva Fragmentada” (Machete)
- The Stein Brothers Quintet, “Quixotic,” (Jazzed Media)

The 10 best new songs of 2008, listed alphabetically:
- Brian Blade, “Stoner Hill” from “Season of Changes” (Verve)
- Jon Cowherd, “Return of the Prodigal Son” from Brian Blade Fellowship’s “Season of Changes” (Verve)
- Taylor Eigsti, “Let It Come to You” (Concord Jazz)
- Tigran Hamasyan, “Leaving Paris” from “New Era” (Plus Loin)
- Virginia Mayhew, “Toe Tickler” from Duke Ellington Legacy’s “Thank You, Uncle Edward” (Renma)
- Pete Malinverni, “Istanbul” from “Invisible Cities” (Reservoir)
- Dafnis Prieto, “Until the Last Minute” from “Taking the Soul for a Walk” (Dafnison Music)
- Marty Sheller, “The Route 40 Flyer” from “Why Deny” (PVR Records)
- Brooke Sofferman, “Da Bull Stops Here” from “Fine Whines” (Summit)
- Bobby Watson, “For Milt” from “From the Heart (Palmetto)

The best jazz boxed set or historic recordings of 2008, listed alphabetically:
- Dave Brubeck, “Live at the Monterey Jazz Festival 1958-2007” (Concord Jazz)
- Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, “Showtime at the Spotlite, 52nd Street, New York City, June 1946” (Uptown)
- Sonny Rollins, "Road Shows, Vol. 1" (Doxy)
- Horace Silver, “Live at Newport ‘58” (Blue Note)
- Nina Simone, “To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story (Legacy Recordings)

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