Wednesday, December 29, 2010

TOP 10

I Dig Jazz top ten jazz albums of 2010.

1.) Geri Allen, Geri Allen and Time Line Live (Motema)
Throwing a tap dancer into the rhythm sections, Allen proves she's not afraid to take big risk. Allen did not mind that the tap dance stole the show.

2.) Tia Fuller, Decisive Steps, (Mack Avenue Records)
Fuller’s break out album that announced to the jazz world that Fuller is a clever and formidable saxophonist.

3.) The Clayton Brothers, The Same Old Song and Dance (Artist Share)
The Clayton's are the first family of jazz. I'd take them over the Marsalis clan any day. This album is a straight up swing fest from start to finish.

4.) Azar Lawrence, Mystic Journey (Furthermore Records)
Often, compared to the great John Coltrane. This spiritually driven jazz album shows Lawrence is his own man.

5.) Jacky Terrasson, Push (Concord Jazz)
The best rendition of Thelonius Monk's Ruby My Dear and 'Round Midnight I've ever heard. Terrason has been unsung for too long.

6.) Marc Cary, Focus Trio Live 2009 (Motema)
I can't say for sure civil rights advocates Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X were jazz fans, but I bet they would've loved how Cary improvised around excerpts of their speeches. Cary is the most creative jazz pianist to every sit at a piano.

7.) The Asian American Orchestra, India & Africa: A Tribute to John Coltrane Live @ Yoshi (Water Baby Records)
This is best Coltrane tribute album since saxophonist Archie Shepps Four Trane. The AAO put their twist on some latter day Coltrane classics.

8.) Milton Suggs, Things to Come (Skiptone Music)
Suggs is the kind of jazz vocalist you would get if you mixed Johnny Hartman's and Kevin Mahogany's DNA. Suggs version of We Shall Overcome and Lift Every Voice and Sing made my pitbull cry.

9.) James Moody, Moody 4B (IPO Recordings, Inc.)
My sentimental favorite. The recently departed saxophonist was a blue-collar jazz musician who knew how to make good down home swing.

10.) Benito Gonzalez, Circles (Furthermore Records)
A percussive pianist in the tradition of McCoy Tyner. This is album is a bombshell. Then again, it’s impossible to blew it with a supporting cast of Ron Blake, Myron Walden, Azar Lawrence, Christian McBride, and Jeff -“Tain” Watts.
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