'OZ Show Hosts Pick Best CDs of 2011

Published on: November 22nd, 2010

Here are the Best CD releases of 2011, handpicked by WWOZ's show hosts. Many of the discs are by local New Orleans artists, while others are from national and international acts—and all of them make great gifts for yourself or loved ones.

Click on the Buy Now buttons next to each disc to purchase it from retail outlets including Louisiana Music Factory, iTunes, or Amazon, and give the gift of music!

» More Best CD Picks: 20102009 | 2008

A.J. Rodrigue, "The Boudin Man" [view show host profile]

Kitchen Sink with A.J. Rodrigue and A.A., Wednesday 10pm-midnight

buy now button New Orleans Bingo Show - Volume III Memory Parade

buy now button Preservation Hall Jazz Band & The Del McCoury Band - American Legacies

Ratty Scurvics and the Black Market Butchers - In Time

buy now button Quintron - Sucre du Sauvage

buy now button King Louie’s Missing Monuments - Painted White

buy now button Morning 40 Federation - Live Personal Hygiene

buy now button Hunx and His Punx - Too Young to Be in Love

buy now button Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys - Grand Isle

buy now button Ricky B - The Archives

Big Freedia - Scion A/V Presents Big Freedia

buy now button Wanda Jackson - The Party Ain’t Over

buy now button Tav Falco and the Unapproachable Panther Burns - Conjurations

buy now button Colin Lake - The Ones I Love

buy now button Country Fried - Life Is Fine

buy now button Bob Andrews - Chills and Fever

buy now button Nick Lowe - The Old Magic

buy now button Luke Winslow King - You Hear Me Talkin’ To Ya

buy now button Panorama Brass Band - 17 Days

buy now button 9th Ward Marching Band - Sneakin up the Street

buy now button Tom Waits - Bad As Me

buy now button Jimmy Donley - In The Key Of Heartbreak: The Complete Tear Drop Singles and More

David Kunian [view show host profile]

Kitchen Sink with David Kunian, Tuesday 10pm-midnight

buy now button Amedee Ardoin - Mama, I'll Be Long Gone - Complete Recordings of Amedee Ardoin 1929 - 1934
As Jim said, the Robert Johnson and Buddy Bolden of Creole Music

buy now button Jumpin Johnny Sansone - The Lord is Waiting and The Devil Is Too

buy now button World Saxophone Quartet - Yes We Can

buy now button Aurora Nealand and the Royal Roses - Tribute to Sidney Bechet

buy now button John Sinclair - Let's Go Get 'Em

buy now buttonRebirth Brass Band - Rebirth of New Orleans

buy now button Helen Gillet - Running of the Bells

buy now button Davis Rogan - The Real Davis

buy now buttonTom McDermott/Evan Christopher - Almost Native

buy now buttonCreole String Beans - Shrimp Boots and Vintage Suits

buy now button Kidd Jordan - On Fire

buy now buttonStarlicker - Double Demon

buy now buttonBurnt Sugar - All Ya Needs That Negrocity

buy now buttonMistakes Were Made - A Broke and Hungry Records Retrospective

buy now buttonJimbo Mathus - Confederate Buddha

buy now buttonKenny Brown - Porch Songs

buy now buttonMatana Roberts - Coin Coin

buy now buttonMiguel Zenon - Alma Adentro

buy now buttonJacob Fred Jazz Odyssey - Race Riot Suite


buy now button Peter Tosh - Equal Rights

buy now buttonJulius Hemphill - Dogon A.D.

buy now button Heiner Stadler - Tribute to Bird and Monk 

buy now button Junior Wells/Buddy Guy - Hoodoo Man Blues

Jelly Roll Justice [view show host profile]

Overnight Jazz with Jelly Roll Justice, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 3-6am
Jazz from the French Market with Jelly Roll Justice, Thursday 4-7pm

buy now button Yaron Gershovsky - State Of Mind (Dorron Music)

buy now button New West Guitar Group - Round-Trip Ticket (Summit)

buy now button Monty Alexander - Harlem - Kingston Express Live! (Motema)

buy now button Laszlo Gardony - Signature Time (Sunnyside Records)

buy now button Donald Harrison, Jr. - This Is Jazz (Half Note)

buy now button Grace Kelly and Phil Woods - Man With The Hat (Pazz Productions)

buy now button Alexis Cuadrado - Noneto Iberico (Brooklyn Jazz Underground)

Jim Hobbs [view show host profile]

Cajun and Zydeco with Charles Laborde or Jim Hobbs, Sunday 12-2pm

buy now button Amédé Ardoin.  Mama, I'll Be Long Gone : Complete Recordings Of Amede Ardoin 1929 -1934. (Tompkins Square 2554)
The Robert Johnson of Creole music, influencing everyone who came after.

buy now button The Band CourtBouillon -  The Band CourtBouillon Featuring Wayne Toups - Steve Riley - Wilson Savoy (Valcour Records)
A new Cajun supergroup.

buy now button Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys - Grand Isle (Self-released)
Continuing to push the boundaries of Cajun, with help from Quintron and others.

buy now button Horace Trahan - Keep Walking  (Self-released)
Original songs on classic themes.

buy now button Various Artists - The Best of Festivals Acadiens 2002 (Valcour Records)
From the best Cajun music festival.

buy now button Various Artists - En Français : Cajun 'n' Creole Rock 'n' Roll  (Bayou Teche Biere 001)
The Beatles, Neil Young, Black Sabbath and many more, continuing a tradition of French versions of modern songs.

Joel “Heavy D” Dinerstein [view show host profile]

The Morning Set with Joel "Heavy D" Dinerstein, Mondays 6-9am

buy now button Joe Lovano & Us 5 - Bird Songs

buy now button Benito Gonzales - Circles

buy now button Orrin Evans - Freedom

buy now button Stefon Harris, David Sanchez, and Christian Scott - Ninety Miles

buy now button Myrwon Walden - Countryfied

buy now button The New Gary Burton Quartet - Common Ground

Mark LaMaire [view show host profile]

The Morning Set with Mark LaMaire, Tuesdays 6-9am

buy now button Panorama Brass Band - 17 Days

buy now button Aurora Nealand and the Royal Roses - A Tribute to Sidney Bechet

buy now button Marchfourth Marching Band - Magnificent Beast

buy now button Booker T. Jones - The Road From Memphis

buy now button Pear - Extemp'ore

buy now button Monty Alexander - Harlem-Kingston Express 

Missy Bowen [view show host profile]

Blues and R&B with Missy Bowen, Thursdays 7-10pm

buy now button Camile Baudoin - Old Bayou Blues
Yes I produced this, and am prejudiced, but this stands out for its musical and production quality and because very few artists dare take on acoustic music these days, especially someone known for his rock/funk electric performances. This CD has a great story, well-executed, and is a quiet hit.

buy now button Maria Muldaur - Steady Love
One of her best efforts.  A couple of clunkers, but generally an all around A effort from a woman who can deliver if she chooses to.  We are glad she let New Orleans help her make that choice.

buy now button John Gros/Papa Grows Funk - Needle in the Groove
This group's most cohesive, accessible CD yet.

buy now button George Porter Jr - Can't Beat the Funk
George remakes Meters, and every cut benefits from his smooth "old lion" confidence.

buy now button The Butanes - Long Time Thing
They backed up Earl King after the Radiators ceded the job, and now rule the R & B/blues scene in the upper midwest. This release with Willie Walker on vocals is consistent, high-energy, and true to the soul.

buy now button Dave "Snaker" Ray - My Blue Heaven
A fan-driven release of some of Dave Ray's last material before his totally tragic death from cancer in 2004. A treasure if only to hear Dave's commentary, but his silky growl and understated-because-he's-that-damned-good-and-doesn't-need-to-show-off guitar work make me hollow inside, sad because I will never hear him again in person, and happy that this new CD is here.  (One of the greatest days of my life was the day he drove an hour out to my cabin to jam with Camile.  I made the best pork roast of my life that afternoon, using the kitchen bustle as an excuse to eavesdrop on those two playing together, wishing I had a way to record them.)

buy now button Marcia Ball - Roadside Attractions
Marcia's best in a while.  A bunch of winners in this one - it can stand being in the CD player on "repeat" without me getting sick of it.  That's a backhanded compliment, but it's really a compliment.

buy now button Johnny Sansone - The Lord is Waiting and the Devil is Too

buy now button Tab Benoit - Medicine

buy now button Preservation Hall Jazz Band - American Legacies

Honorable Mentions:

buy now button Ray Manzarek and Roy Rogers - Translucent Blues

buy now button Creole String Beans - Shrimp Boots & Vintage Suits

Sally Young [view show host profile]

Traditional Jazz, Thursdays 9-11am

buy now button George Lewis & His New Orleans Stompers (Upbeat Recordings)

buy now button Paul Barnes Plays Pop Songs - Percy Humphrey Plays The Blues with The Bovisa Jazz Band (GHB)

buy now button Sharkey Bonano at the Municipal Auditorium Featuring Alec Templeton (GHB)

buy now button Joe Mares’ Acetates - The Rarest Of The Rare (GHB)

buy now button Doc Cheatham & Sammy Price in New Orleans with Lars Edegran’s Jazz Band (GHB)

buy now button Eric Clapton & Wynton Marsalis Play The Blues - Live from Jazz at Lincoln Center (Reprise Records)

buy now button Trevor Richards - Classic Jazz & Swing (NOJP)


buy now button The Big Beat - The Dave Bartholomew Songbook (Ace)

buy now button Allen Toussaint - Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky. Hit Songs & Productions 1957- 1978 (Charly)

buy now button Ernie K-Doe - Here Come The Girls: A History 1960-1970 (Charly)

buy now button Aaron Neville - Hercules: The Minit & Sansui Sessions 1960- 1977 (Charly)

buy now button Jump, Jive An’ Wail - The Velvet Lounge (Bear Family)

buy now button Count Basie & His Orchestra with Keely Smith - Guard Sessions 53-54-55-56 (Sounds of Yesteryear- Submarine Records)

Russell [view show host profile]

buy now button Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis - Here We Go Again: Celebrating the Genius of Ray Charles
How could you go wrong with this combo?

buy now button Frederick Sheppard - Habari Gani
Funky. Jazzy. Great.

buy now button Tab Benoit - Medicine
It's good to know someone is still producing music like this.

buy now button Todd Clouser's A Love Electric - A Love Electric
My kind of jazz quartet.

buy now button Los Po-Boy-Citos - Brand New Dance
I only wish I had a 1950s Buick Skylark to go along with this album.

buy now button Irvin Mayfield - A Love Letter to New Orleans
If I produced an album I would call it "A Love Letter to Irvin Mayfield."

Sondra Bibb [view show host profile]

Jazz from the French Market with Sondra Bibb, Mondays 4-7pm

buy now button Gerald Clayton - Bond: The Paris Sessions (hands down favorite!)

buy now button Stefon Harris, David Sanchez and Christian Scott - 90 Miles

buy now button Forever - Return to Forever Live

buy now button Eliane Elias - Light My Fire

buy now button Joshua Redman, Aaron Parks, Matt Penman and Eric Harland - James Farm

buy now button Kurt Elling - The Gate

buy now button Tom Harrell - Time of The Sun

T.R. Johnson [view show host profile]

Jazz from the French Market with T.R. Johnson, Tuesday 4-7 p.m.

buy now button Donny McCaslin - Perpetual Motion

buy now button Benito Gonzales - Circles

buy now button Kidd Jordan - On Fire

buy now button Ambrose Akinmusire - When the Heart Emerges Glistening

buy now button Gretchen Parlato - The Lost and Found

buy now button Anne Mette Iversen - Milo Songs

buy now button Helen Gillet - The Running of the Bells

buy now button Tom Harrell - The Time of the Sun

buy now button Shane Endsley - Then the Other

buy now button World Saxophone Quartet - Yes We Can


And the best re-issues of the year: 

buy now button Miles Davis Quintet - Live in Europe 1967: Bootleg Series Volume 1

buy now button Cannonball Adderly / Bill Evans - Know What I Mean?

buy now button Julius Hemphill - Dogon AD

buy now button Chet Baker - In New York

buy now button Duke Ellington - Complete 1932-1940… Recordings

Add a comment below if you would like to submit your own picks for 2011 or to comment on the picks above.

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