Monday, March 18, 2013

2013 So Far... A Banner Year?

Don't let my silence here at JazzChronicles make you think that nothing is happening in my little world o' jazz. On the contrary, I've been hearing so many good things that I can already safely predict that selecting this year's Top 10 list is going to be a mighty task... and the weatherman is still predicting upwards of 30 cm of snow up my way. So you know that there has been an unprecedented load of great recordings on my desk to date.

Starting from the top: Remember when I decried how long it's been since drummer Jack DeJohnette put out one great album after another? The new year had barely begun when ECM hit me with Special Edition, a four-disc collection of his best stuff for the label.

Next, thanks to the mighty Aaron Cohen, my assignment editor at DownBeat, I discovered San Francisco trumpeter Ian Carey, whose Roads & Codes is one of the freshest albums I've heard in a long time.

In mid-January, the new Chris Potter recording, The Sirens, also on ECM, lived up to expectations. This is one album I need to spend more time with, and I know I'll return to it.

Jump forward a month, and it was a one-two punch with a great set of duets from Charles Lloyd and Jason Moran, and Dave Douglas' new quintet album, Time Travel. Both of these acts are at the top of the list of things I'd like to hear live this year.

A week or so later, I was hit with a terrific all-star recording by Quest, the co-operative group that features Dave Liebman, Billy Hart, Richie Beirach and Ron McClure. This time out, they're exploring the music of Miles Davis' mid-'60s quintet. What's not to like there?

So that's a half-dozen solid contenders for the crown in mid-March. And, of course, there are more I haven't gotten to yet, or recordings that have yet to work their magic on me. Right here on top of the listening pile is the new Tomasz Stanko New York Quartet, for example. One of my favourite bands. And, over there, the new Robert Hurst that is already creating some great buzz. And, what's that? Two new recordings by Ben Goldberg. They definitely require some attention.

If there's another silence between posts, you'll know what I'm up to.

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