I've had a few inquiries about this year's list of best concerts. Well, a look back over the past 71 posts on Jazz Chronicles will tell you it has been a light year for travel and concert-going. Just about anything I posted now would merely retread what I wrote during my 10 days hunkered down as media specialist for the 2009 TD Canada Trust Ottawa International Jazz Festival. No shortage of memorable concerts there, so I could easily—and happily—nominate Charles Lloyd's quartet, Dave Douglas' Brass Ecstacy or the Maria Schneider Orchestra.
Not surprisingly, a year without a musical road trip has left me staring at my carry-on bag and fingering my passport. The first week of January will change all that when the Winter Jazzfest kicks off in New York City. I'm really looking forward to making the in-concert acquaintance of artists who have excited me on recordings or through word of mouth over the past couple of years, including: Mary Halvorson, Ambrose Akinmusire, Jenny Scheinman and Linda Oh.