Tuesday, December 2, 2014

2014’s Top 10 Jazz Listings…. One Scribe's Take

This the season for the outpouring of Top 10 lists, and their many variations, for jazz, world events, etc. The jazz lists always have a lot of variation depending on the individual reviewer's personal tastes, as well as what he or she had a chance to hear during the year.* Bottom line, all of these are very subjective.

My choices below (aside from top 10 new songs of the year) were submitted to the Jazz Times and NPR Music 2014 compilations. (The latter is a Francis Davis-produced poll that previously was published by The Village Voice and Rhapsody.com).

 As I begin preparing my review of significant events and trends in jazz this year for allaboutjazz.com, I thought I'd share my "best of 2014" lists. *Always keep in mind the above caveats.

 The 10 best new jazz releases of 2014

1.   Cava Menzies/Nick Phillips, Moment To Moment (Nick Phillips Music)

2.   Barb Jungr, Hard Rain (Kristalyn)

3.   Pat Metheny Unity Group, Kin (↔) (Nonesuch-Metheny Group Productions)

4.   Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra, Habitat (Justin Time)

5.    Sonny Rollins, Road Shows, Volume 3 (Doxy/OKeh)

6.   Craig Handy, Craig Handy & 2nd Line Smith (OKeh)

7.   George Cables, Icons & Influences (HighNote)

8.    Alan Broadbent and NDR Big Band, America The Beautiful (Jan Matthies)

9.   Jamie Saft, Steve Swallow and Bobby Previte, The New Standard (RareNoise)

10. Suzanna Smith, Between Heaven & Love (Ink Pen)

The best historical/reissues of 2014 (includes any recordings made over 10 years ago, whether newly released or reissued):

1.   Gene Ludwig-Pat Martino Trio, Young Guns (HighNote)

2.   Francy Boland, Playing With The Trio (Schema Rearward)

3.   John Coltrane, Offering: Live At Temple University  (Resonance)

4.   Miles Davis, Miles at the Fillmore - Miles Davis 1970: The Bootleg Series Vol. 3 (Columbia/Legacy)
The 10 best new songs from CDs released in 2014, listed alphabetically:

1.   Noah Baerman, “Lester” from Ripples (self-produced)

2.  Laura Dubin, “Thank You For Your Time” from Introducing the Laura Dubin Trio (self-produced)

3.   Alex Garcia, “11:11 Spirit” from Alex Garcia’s AfroMantra, This Side of Mestizaje (AfroMantra)

4.   Kaszuo Ishiguro and Jim Tomlinson, “The Summer We Crossed Europe in the Rain” from Stacey Kent, The Changing Lights (Warner Bros).

5.   Pat Metheny, “Born” from Kin (↔) (Nonesuch-Metheny Group Productions)

6.   Ellen Rowe, “And Miles To Go (Part 2)” from Courage Music (PKO)

7.   Gonzalo Rubalcaba, “Volcan Durmiente” from Volcán (5Pasion)

8.   Jamie Saft, “Blue Shuffle” from The New Standard (RareNoise)

9.   Anton Schwartz, “Dawn’s Song” from Flash Mob (Antonjazz)

10. Herb Silverstein, “Wish You Were Here” from Monday Morning (self-produced)
2014’s best vocal recording:
Barb Jungr, Hard Rain (Kristalyn)
2014’s best Latin/Brazilian jazz recordings:

1.  Volcán, Volcán (5Pasion)

2.  Omar Sosa, Real Live: The New AfroCuban Quartet Live in Japan (Otá)

3.  Afro Bop Alliance, Angel Eyes (Zoho)

4.  Yosvany Terry, New Throned King (5Pasion)

5.  Gabriel Espinosa and Hendrick Meurkens, Samba Little Samba (Zoho) 

2014’s best book about jazz:
“ART: Why I Stuck with a Junkie Jazzman,” by Laurie Pepper (APMCorp)

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