My fave 30 jazz discs of this decade, 2000-2009

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Published on: November 11th, 2009
So, off the top of my head, in alphabetical order, here are the 30 jazz discs that I have dug the most from this decade which is now drawing to a close... Alegria by Wayne Shorter Amarosa by Rosa Passos Avatar by Gonzalo Rubalcaba Beautiful Existence by Joe Morris Back East by Joshua Redman Betwixt by Pandelis Karayorgis Chasin the Gypsy by James Carter Concert in the Garden by Maria Schneider From the River to the Ocean by Fred Anderson and Hamid Drake Gwotet by David Murray Hard Groove by Roy Hargrove and the Rh Factor Jungle Soul by Lonnie Smith Kids by Joe Lovano and Hank Jones Layin in the Cut by James Carter Live at the Jazz Standard by Dave Douglas Live at the Village Vanguard by Bebo Valdez + Javier Colina The Lost Chords Find Paolo Frasu by Carla Bley O’Neal’s Porch by William Parker One Foot in the Swamp by John Ellis Palm of Soul by Kidd Jordan Point of View by Dave Holland Rabo de Nube by Charles Lloyd Saint Cecilia by Hart McNee Taking the Soul for a Walk by Dafnis Prieto Tale of God’s Will: Requiem for Katrina by Terence Blanchard Time Lines by Andrew Hill The Way Up by Pat Metheny Which Way is East by Charles Lloyd and Billy Higgins Ya-Ya-3 by Ya-Ya-3 2-Gether by Warren Vache and Bill Charlap I'll likely tinker with this list and revise it, but figured I'd post it to start the inevitable debates and general 1-upmanship...


Dear T.R.

Gutsy try at something almost impossible --- the paring down must be the most difficult part of the process as you made the final cut to 30.

This has been a remarkable ten years for Jazz. Many of your suggestions ring true to me, for example Terence Blanchard's and Gonzalo Rubalcaba's albums were spectacular. On the other hand, while I appreciate their artistry, I would not have included some CDs by other musicians that you dug.

Some might fault you (I do not) for not including Herbie Hancock's "Joni Letters" that not only won the Grammy for Best Album of the Year, but also was remarkably popular for a Jazz album. What we do is much a matter of subjective taste, and with that in mind, I would offer the following of just eleven of my favorites (not in any particular order):

Marcus Roberts, New Orleans Meets Harlem Vol.1 2009
Dr. Lonnie Smith, Rise Up! 2009
Uros Markovic/Gospel Jazz Trio, Jesus Saves 2008
Robert Walter, Cure All 2008
Three Cohens, Braid 2007
Michael Brecker, Pilgrimage 2007
Steve Turre, Keep Searchin' 2006
Roberto Carcasses, A Todo Jazz 2009
Dianne Reeves, When You Know 2008
The Marsalis Family, A Jazz Celebration (Live) 2001 and Alvin Batiste, Marsalis Music Honors Alvin Batiste 2008

What interests me is not so much our subjective enjoyment of different CDs during the last ten years, but whether these albums will last as great jazz.

While we may pick and choose the albums we "dig", what are the criteria for those albums created during the last ten years that will last as great jazz?

Jelly Roll Justice

Jelly Roll Justice:
Thanks! As always, you bring a wise and, yes, judicious eye to these matters, and yes, I can't believe I left out Anat Cohen's stuff with her brothers. Her discs were jaw-dropping, especially Noir and Poetica and Notes from the Village. And, I agree, the really interesting dimension of lists like these is what they'll look like a long time hence: are any of these really timeless classics. Hmm... I'm inclined to think a couple of them are... the stuff by William Parker and Charle Lloyd, in particular, might pack a whallop forever; ditto the Bebo Valdez. Well, hell, all of them are candidates for long-term value -- I guess that time will tell.... thanks again for the response...

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