Sunday, December 20, 2009

The best in jazz recordings in 2009

Here are this writer's choices for the top jazz recordings and reissues of 2009. 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 of 2009, listed alphabetically:
- Lili Añel, “Every Second in Between” (Wall-I Records)
- Big Band Ritmo Sinfonica Città Di Verona, "Restless Spirits" (Velut Luna)
- Seamus Blake, “Live in Italy” (Jazz Eyes)
- Mike Clark, “Blueprints of Jazz, Vol. 1” (Talking House)
- Bill Cunliffe, “Blues and the Abstract Truth, Take 2” (Resonance)
- Kat Edmonson, “Take to the Sky” (Convivium Records)
- Steve Kuhn, “Mostly Coltrane” (ECM)
- LeBoeuf Brothers, “House Without a Door” (LeBoeuf Brothers Music)
- John Scofield, “Piety Street” (EmArcy)
- Joe Zawinul, “75” (Heads Up International)

The 10 best new songs of the year, listed alphabetically:

- Lynne Arriale, “A Gentle Soul” from “Nuance” (Motéma Music)
- Jeff Ballard, “Lady B” from Fly’s “Sky & Country” (ECM)
- Scotty Barnhart, “Haley’s Passage” from “Say It Plain” (Unity Music)
- Gerald Clayton, “Peace for the Moment” from “Two-Shade” (ArtistShare)
- N. Glenn Davis, “Come Right In” from “Come Right In” (Jazzed Media)
- Richie Goods, “Desert Song” from “Live at the Zinc Bar” (RichMan Productions)
- Fareed Haque. “Big Bhangra” from “Flat Planet” (Owl Studios)
- Sean Jones, “The Ambitious Violet” from “The Search Within” (Mack Avenue)
- Mark Rapp, “Thank You” from “Token Tales” (Paved Earth)
- Greg Skaff, “Willie D” from “East Harlem Skyline” (Zoho)

The best jazz boxed set or historic recordings of 2009, listed alphabetically:
- Dupree Bolton, “Fireball,” (Uptown)
- Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins, “The Classic Prestige Sessions, 1951-1956 (Prestige)
- Lucky Thompson, “New York City, 1965-65” (Uptown)
- Freddie Hubbard, “Without a Song (Live in Europe, 1969)” (Blue Note)
- Scott LaFaro, “Pieces of Jade” (Resonance)

The best jazz-related DVD of 2009
- "'Tis Autumn: The Search for Jackie Paris," (Outsider Pictures/Naxos of America)


  1. Hi Ken,

    Thank you so much for including my song "Thank You" in your list of best new songs for 2009! Very happy about this man!

    Happy Holidays to you and yours and all the best,
    Mark Rapp

  2. Excellent selection of jazz music!