Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tops in Jazz - 2010

As the year winds down, I'll be preparing my Year-in-Jazz retrospective. In advance of that, here's a rundown of my favorites among 2010's new releases and historic recordings.

Always keep in mind that top 10 listings of this sort reflect what the reviewer gets a chance to hear during the year.. as well as 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.

If you haven't done so already, these are projects I recommend you check out.

The 10 best new jazz releases of 2010, listed alphabetically:
- Dave Bass Quartet, Gone (Dave Bass Music)
- Lisa Engelken, Caravan (Little Angel)
- Tamir Hendelman, Destinations (Resonance)
- Dave Holland Octet, Pathways (Dare2)
- Christine Jensen, treelines (Justin Time)
- Pat Metheny, Orchestrion (Nonesuch)
- Jean-Michel Pilc, True Story (Dreyfus)
- Ellen Rowe Quartet, Wishing Well (PKO Records)
- Omar Sosa & NDR Bigband, Ceremony (Otá)
- Jacky Terrasson, Push (Concord Jazz)

The 10 best new songs of the year, listed alphabetically:
- John Britton, “Anticipation” from The Britton Brothers Band, Uncertain Living (Record Craft)
- Gerald Cleaver, “From a Life of the Same Name” from Jeremy Pelt, Men of Honor (HighNote)
- Loren Daniels, “Point A to Point A,” title track, Reggie Pittman-Loren Daniels Quartet (self-produced)
- Tamir Hendelman, “Babushka” from Destinations (Resonance)
- Pat Metheny, “Spirit of the Air,” from Orchestrion (Nonesuch)
- Chris Potter, “Sea of Mamara” from Dave Holland Octet, Pathways (Dare2)
- Jean-Michel Pilc, “PBH Factor,” from True Story, (Dreyfus)
- Aldo Romano, “Gamelan” from Origine, Dreyfus Jazz)
- Ellen Rowe, “For That Which Was Living, Lost” from Wishing Well (PKO Records)
- Luciano Troja, “Earl and Bill” from At Home With Zindars (self-produced)

The five best historical/reissues of 2010, listed alphabetically:
- Miles Davis, Bitches Brew (Sony/Legacy)
- Stan Getz/Kenny Barron, People Time: The Complete Recordings (Sunnyside)
- Vince Guaraldi, Peanuts Portraits (Concord Music)
- Freddie Hubbard, Red Clay (CTI)
- Art Pepper, Unreleased Art, Vol. V: Stuttgart (Widow’s Taste)

The best jazz-related DVD of 2010:
- Sarah Vaughan -The Divine One, Masters of American Music Series (EuroArts)

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