Category Archives: Top 10

Best of 2013

brian keena.  jazz messenger.  monday, 10am-noon.
  • miles davis: live in europe, 1969. columbia-bootleg.
  • eliane elias.  i thought about you.  concord
  • ben sidran.  don’t cry for no hipster.  nardis.
  • john d’earth. on. cosmology.
  • joey defrancesco.  one for rudy. high note.
steve huff.  anything goes. monday. 8-11pm.
  • bill frisell. big sur;  ensemble at kevin eubanks.
  • john hollenbeck – songs i like a  lot;  kate mcgarry never sounded better.
  • ben allison – the stars look very different today;  guitar/banjo craziness… think he has found his ensemble.
  • azul – howard, d’earth, caputo;  improvisational trio great live could see them every week…
  • other mentions – carla bley, ralph towner, charles lloyd, gary burton, john abercrombie.
sean grzegorczyk. anything goes. monday 8-11pm.
  • allison miller.  no morphine, no lillies. royal potato family.
  • ben allison.  the stars look very different today. sonic camera
  • chris potter, the sirens. ecm
  • patricia barber. smash. concord.
  • michael blake.  in the grand scheme of things.  songlines.
  • madeleine peyroux. the blue room.  decca
  • ralph alessi.  baida.  ecm.
  • carla bley. trios. ecm.
  • wayne shorter.  without a net.  blue note.
  • dave douglas.  time travel. greenleaf.
gary funston.  living time.  wednesday  8-11pm.
  • dylan ryan & sand.  sky bleached.  cuneiform: drum, guitar, bass trio blows open the possibilities of format.
  • blue cranes.  swim.  cuneiform: from Portland, OR, saxophones + strings create lush  emotional portraits.
  • ben goldberg. unfold ordinary mind. BAG:  clarinetist explores spectrum of low reeds with nels cline guitar.
  • azul.  howard, d’earth, caputo. espresso. improvisation that inspires and surprises.
  • allison miller. boom tic boom. foxhaven:  great drummer with pianist myra melford + jenny scheinman on violin.
  • nik bartsch.  ronin: live. ecm: Swiss pianist with “Zen Funk” group ronin, bass clarinet stars.
  • darcy james argue.  secret society “Brooklyn Babylon”.  new amsterdam;  ambitious, rich, non-traditional big band.
  • dave holland.  prism.  dare2:  legendary bassist with keyboard master craig taborn + kevin eubanks on guitar.
  • pat metheny x 2.   tap. nonesuch: interpretations of music of john zorn. & the orchestrion project. nonesuch:  compositions for computer controlled instruments, called the Orchestrion.
ann porotti.  all that jazz.  thursday, 10am-noon.
  • blue cranes.  swim.  cuneiform.
  • nik bartsch + ronin.  live.  ecm
  • anoushka shankar.  traces of you.  dgg.
  • cecile mcloren salvant.  womanchild.  mack avenue.
  • joe locke.  lay down my heart.  motema.
  • marc cary.  for the love of abbey.  motema.
  • charles lloyd & jason moran.  hagar’s song.  ecm.
  • dave brubeck & tony bennett.  white house sessions, 1962. columbia
  • next collective w/christian scott.  cover art.  concord.
  • boz scaggs.  memphis.  429 records.
sandy snyder.  wild women get the blues.  thursday, 8-9pm.
  • tedeschi trucks band.  made up mind.  masterworks.
  • kara grainger.  shiver and sign. electrogroove.
  • nanette workman.  just gettin’ started.  bros.
  • lisa biales.  singing in my soul.  big song.
  • maria woodford. bad dog blues. self.

david eisenman.  induced to judder thursday, 9-11pm.

  • the catholics.  yonder.  bugle.
  • ben allison.  the stars look very different today.  sonic camera.
  • charlie hunter + scott amendola. not getting behind is the new getting ahead. self.
  • greyboy allstars.  inland emperor.  knowledge room.
  • robert walter’s 20th congress.  get thy bearings.  royal potato family.
  • john scofield. uberjam deux.  decca.
  • chick corea.  the vigil. stretch.
  • ahmad jamal.  saturday morning.  jazz village.
  • john ginty.  bad news travels. american showplace.
  • dr. lonnie smith.  in the beginning.  pilgrimage.
  • southern hospitality.  easy livin’.  blind pig.
  • charlie musselwhite  juke joint chapel.  henrietta
  • james hunter.  minute by minute.  fantasy
  • boz scaggs.  memphis.  429 records.
  • jimmy vivino + black italians.  13 live. blind pig.
  • johnny rawls.  remembering o.v.  catfood.
  • j.j.grey + mofro.  this river.  alligator.
  • ronnie earl.  just for today.  stony plain.
  • duke robillard.  independently blue.  stony plain.
  • buzzard hollow boys.  yazoo basin folktales & other tone poems.
david lee.  jazz essence.  friday,  10am-noon.
  • preservation hall jazz band.  that’s it!
  • oliver jones with josee aidans.  just for my lady.
  • marc johnson & eliane elias.  swept away.  concord.
  • michael gallant trio.  completely.
  • the new gary burton quartet.  guided tour.
dave rogers.   professor bebop.  friday, 11pm-1am.
  • azul.  improvisation by john d’earth, brian caputo, greg howard.
  • smash.  patricia barber.  concord.
  • fight song.  a tribute to charles mingus.  no bs. brass.
  • get up.  ben harper & charlie musselwhite.
  • nikki hill.  here’s nikki hill.
steve shuman aka ruday palisades.  the groove tube.  saturday , 9-11pm
  • the greyboy allstars.  inland emperor.  knowledge room
  • the rootdowns.  songs with friends.  self.
  • robert walters 20th congress.  get thy bearings.  royal potato family.
  • govt. mule.  shout.
aaron zatcoff aka jazz czar.  jazz mania.  sunday, 10am-noon.
  • wayne shorter.  without a net
  • dave holland.  prism.  dare2
  • dave douglas.  time travel.  greenleaf.
  • john scofield uberjam deux.  ecm
  • pat metheny.  john zorn’s book of angels.
rebecca foster.  in the spirit.  sunday, 9-10am
  • blind boys of alabama.  i’ll find a way.
  • nikki hill.  here’s nikki hill.   self
  • mavis staples.  one true vine.
  • j.j. grey & mofro.  this river.
  • julian fauth.  everybody ought to treat a stranger right.
  • pink martini.  get happy.
  • carline ray.  vocal sides.
  • hod o’brien.  i hear a rhapsody.
  • quiet  fire.  jarjuna.
  • anoushka shankar.  traces of you. dgg.
 joe oddo.  “jus joe”.  jazz sub.
  • sao paulo underground.  beija flors velho e sojo.  cuneiform.
  • christian mcbride.  bass out here. mack avenue.
  • kermit ruffins. we’re partyin’ traditional style.  basin street.
  • houston person.  nice ‘n’ easy. high note.
  • ricardo silveira & vinicius cantuaria.  RSVC. adventure music.
kevin kellam.  jazz announcer emeritus.
  • rudresh mahanthappa. gamak.
  • john zorn.  shir hashirim.
  • harris eisenstadt september trio.  the destructive element.
  • magnus ostrom. searching for jupiter.
  • ches smith &  these arches.  hammered

Best of 2009 – Aaron (The Jazz Czar)

  1. “Piety Street”John Scofield (EmArcy)
  2. “Folk Art”Joe Lovano (Blue Note)
  3. “Metamorphosen”Branford Marsalis (Marsalis Music)
  4. “Heaven On Earth – Live At The Blue Note”James Carter (Half Note)
  5. “Quartet Live”Gary Burton (Concord)
  6. “Now vs Now”Jason Lindner (Anzic)
  7. “Historicity”Vijay Iyer (ACT)
  8. “Urban Myths”Joel Harrison (HighNote)
  9. “The Bright Mississippi”Allen Toussaint (Posi-Tone)
  10. “Think Free”Ben Allison (Palmetto)
  11. “Out With It”David Ashkenazy
  12. “Big Neighborhood”Mike Stern
  13. “Radiolarians II & III”Medeski, Martin & Wood

Best of 2009 – Steve Huff

  1. “Brewster’s Rooster”John Surman – Vet baritone sax player returns to jazz forms with allstar cast Abercrombie/DeJohnette/Gress (ECM)
  2. “Wait ’til you see her”John Abercrombie – Mature guitar/violin quartet defining their brand of chamber jazz (ECM)
  3. “Radiolarians III”Medeski, Martin and Wood – More jazz than funk this time the party continues (Indirecto)
  4. “The Astounding Eyes of Rita”Anour Brahem – Jazz oud works with chamber world music (ECM)
  5. “Eddie Loves Frank”Ed Palermo Big Band – Zappa covers with swing (Cunieform)
  6. “Five Peace Band Live”Chick Corea and John McLaughlin – Modern masters at work with contemporary fusion (Concord)
  7. “Cartography”Arve Henriksen – Breathy nordic Supersilent trumpeter somewhere between ambient and jazz (ECM)
  8. “Last night the moon came….”Jon Hassell – Ambient jazz from former Eno collaborator (ECM)
  9. “Movements in Colour”Andy Sheppard – Carla Bley sax sideman with his ECM debut as leader (ECM)
  10. “Extra Mile”Pete McCann – Guitar-led ensmble (Nine-teen Eight Records)

Best of 2009 – Sean Grzegorczyk

  1. “Historicity”Vijay Iyer – moves with assured consistency across a huge swath of musical territory, from a Leonard Bernstein ballad to a particularly hard-hitting version of M.I.A.‘s “Galang”. (Act Music)
  2. “Blood form Stars”Joe Henry – Blood‘s songs start off with traditional blues patterns, but ventures off in uncharted directions. (Anti-)
  3. “Coward”Nels Cline – Working solo in the studio on a plethora of instruments, he delivers an alternately ravishing and rocking session marked by surprising grooves and exquisite textures. (Cryptogramophone)
  4. “Think Free”Ben Allison – unexpected textures of Shane Endsley’s trumpet and Jenny Scheinman’s violin. (Palmetto)
  5. “Brewster’s Rooster”John Surman – the trio of old friends – Surman, DeJohnette, Abercrombie – is joined by bassist Drew Gress (ECM)
  6. “For all I Care”Bad Plus – modern jazz readings of rock standards (Heads Up)
  7. “Standards Trio: Reflections'”Kurt Rosenwinke – superbly played standards (Wommusic)
  8. “Things To Come”Rez Abbasi – Pakistani-American guitarist Rez Abbasi coalesces his rock, jazz and South Asian influences into a melodically and rhythmically complex suite of tracks on his latest sojourn (Sunnyside)
  9. “Continuation”Alex Cline – Working across styles and in longer forms, Cline’s tunes are patient and full of space (ECM)
  10. “Lost on the Way”Louis Sclavis – The melodies are typically byzantine, but fizzing with muscular lyricism, brooding in dark guitar lines or dancing balletically over sombre booming drums (ECM)

Best of 2009 – Gerald Watts

  1. “Blueprints Of Jazz Vol. 1”Mike Clark (Talking House)
  2. “Radiolarians III”Medeski, Martin & Wood (Indirecto)
  3. “Waxed Oop”Fast ‘N’ Bulbous (Cuneiform)
  4. “Ray’s Way”Ray LeVier (Origin)
  5. “Big Neighborhood”Mike Stern (Heads Up)
  6. “Eddy Loves Frank”Ed Palermo (Cuneiform)
  7. “Inter Vivos”The catholics (Bungle)
  8. “Joe’s Strut”Michael Wolff (Wrong)
  9. “Disfarmer”Bill Frisell (Nonesuch)
  10. “Night of the Living Daylights”The Living Daylights (self produced)

Best of 2009 – Ann Porotti

  1. “Heaven On Earth – Live At The Blue Note”James Carter – Tied for Number 1 of 2009, this CD is all about the strong band, and Carter’s leadership. (Half Note)
  2. “Detroit”Gerald Wilson – magnificent (Mack Avenue)
  3. “Historicity”Vjay Iyer – pianist Iyer’s take on “Somewhere” from West Side Story floats on its thermals (ACT)
  4. “The Bright Mississippi”Allen Toussaint – the other 2009 Number 1 showers us with New Orleans boogie and mood. (Nonesuch)
  5. “intervivos”The Catholics – New to me, the beginning of a beautiful friendship (Bungle )
  6. “Spirit”Cyrus Chestnut – solo piano, elegant restraint within a traditional, gospel repertoire (IPO)
  7. “Live At The Village Vanguard”Martial Solal – on the occasion of Martial Solal’s 80th birthday he gave this solo piano performance @ the Village Vanguard in 2007. Intelligence, discipline, and authentic jazz licks on old chestnuts. Wise and beautiful, the music. (CamJazz)
  8. “Obsession, Nights on Key Largo”Tessa Souter – 2 Recordings in 2009- gorgeous singer, tremendous style (Venus, Motema)
  9. “Quartet Live”Gary Burton – A little sedate, but very unified and cool. (Concord)
  10. “Think Free”Ben Allison – I love this band because Jenny Scheinman plays her violin with them (Palmetto)
  11. “Disfarmer”Bill Frissell – Every new musical corner is a fresh look (Nonesuch)
  12. “Apti”Rudresh Mahnthappa – Presses my world buttons (Inova)

Best of 2009 – Nick Page

  1. “Keys in Ascension”Fabian Zone Trio (CAP)
  2. “No Title”Dr. Lonnie Smith (Palmetto)
  3. “The So Then Collection”Jesse Jones Jr. (self produced)
  4. “Dylan Different”Ben Sidron (Bonsai)
  5. “Live at the Blue Note”Charles Tolliver Big Band (Half Note)
  6. “Dark Wood, Dark Water”Chad McCullough (Origin)
  7. “Quiet Nights”Diana Krall (Verve)
  8. “Legendary”Bob Florence (MAMA)
  9. “Movie Song Project”Royce Campbell Trio (Philology)
  10. “The Comet’s Tail: A Tribute to Michael Brecker”Chuck Owen and the Jazz Surge (MAMA)

Best of 2009 – Gary Funston


  1. “Think Free”Ben Allison – Some didn’t like it as much as Ben’s Previous cd’s, but its subtle charms grow on you. (Palmetto)
  2. “Heaven and Earth”James Carter – with John Medeski and an all star cast that actually sound like a band (Half Note)
  3. “Infernal Machines”Darcy James Argue – One of several envelope pushing big band cd’s in ’09, with John Hollenbeck’s Eternal Interlude (New Amsterdam)
  4. “Eddie Loves Frank”Ed Palermo – Still irresistable, smart big band arrangements of Zappa comps (Cuneiform)
  5. “Extra Mile”Pete McCann – Fine under-known guitaritst with first rate comps and wide range of styles (self produced)
  6. “Urban ….”Joel Harrison – see Pete McCann…all instrumental this time. (Highnote)
  7. “Kif Express”David Fiuczinsky – crazy Eastern trick-guitar fusion. irresistable. (Fuzelicious)
  8. “Brewster’s Rooster”John Surman – All-star lineup with great writing (ECM)
  9. “Afterburn”Torben Waldorf – guitarist under the influence of Maria Schneider. Lots of instantly likeable tunes. (artistshare)
  10. “Radiolarians I, II, and III”MMW – cheating to list 3 cd’s as one, but lots of great stuff on each cd. Their best in a long time. (Indirecto)


  1. “Re Visions”Jen Chapin – She defies category, singing Stevie’s tunes without a net–only bass and sax accompaniment (Chesky)
  2. “Pentatonic Wars…”Otis Taylor – A true original, with Jason Moran and other jazzers contributing to the spooky sounds (Telarc)
  3. “Blood From Stars”Joe Henry – Not jazz, but with jazz sounds. The most unique vocal album of the year (Anti)
  4. “Slice O Life-Live”Brice Cockburn – Not jazz either, just great musicianship and songwriting (Rounder)
  5. “Astral Weeks Live”Van Morrison – You can go home again (Listen to the Lion)
  6. “Never Going Back”Shemekia Copeland – but you don’t want to. What the heck happened in Memphis anyway? (Telarc)
  7. “Sweetheart Like You”Guy Davis – Great story telling, in wide variety of blues and country styles (Red House)
  8. “Project A”Joel Frahm and Bruce Katz – Instrumental, but all songs associated with Aretha. a guilty pleasure (Anzic)
  9. “Chioggia Beat”Jay Pun and Morwenna Lasko – Local duo defies category–instrumentals with stellar cast of local jazz players and others, incl. Johnny Gilmore (self)

Best of 2009 – Professor Bebop


  1. “Already Free”Derek Trucks – Supremely wonderful guitar: grit, beauty, passion (Victor)
  2. “Already Live”Derek Trucks – The live companion to the above (Victor)
  3. “Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs”Otis Taylor – Trance master of the blues (Telarc Blues)
  4. “Twisted”Rick Estrin & The Nightcats – Solid roadhouse blues and a lot of fun (Alligator)
  5. “This Time”Robert Cray – Some great ballads with a couple of groovy blues (Nozzle)
  6. “Living In The Light”Ronnie Earl – Guitar master still has tremendous power and sensitivity (Stony Plain)
  7. “Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears”Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears – Get the 10″ vinyl, garage soul, crazy! (Lost Highway)
  8. “Do It Like We Used To Do”North Mississippi Allstars – Live, Hill Country Blues retrospective, great dvd too (Songs of the South)
  9. “Live at Chan’s, Combo Platter #2”Nick Moss & The Flip Tops – Barroom blues, no frills, Lurrie Bell guests (Blue Bella)
  10. “Between A Rock And The Blues”Joe Louis Walker – Great guitarist presents his considerable skill in a variety of blues settings (Stony Plain)

All Genres

  1. “Already Free”Derek Trucks – Supremely wonderful guitar: grit, beauty, passion (Victor)
  2. “Chioggia Beat”Morwenna Lasko & Jay Pun – Eclectic, rhythmic, enchanting (Kuchica)
  3. “Live”Five Peace Band – Chick Corea, John McLaughlin revisit fusion (Concord)
  4. “Love Filling Station”Jesse Winchester – Great southern charm (Appleseed)
  5. “Heart Beat”Robert Jospe – Great jazz from local greats! (Random Chance)
  6. “Twisted”Rick Estrin & The Nightcats – Solid roadhouse blues and a lot of fun (Alligator)
  7. “Tangled Tales”Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks – Lazy, jazzy, groovy string band swing (Surfdog)
  8. “Roll On”J.J. Cale – Laid back as an old hound dog on a hot summer day (Rounder)
  9. “”Corey Harris – Sweet Music, Hard content, soul/reggae influence (Telarc )
  10. “Throw Down Your Heart”Bela Fleck – Africa sessions where Fleck blends with African styles (Rounder)

Best of 2009 – The Melody Man (Freddy FreeRoamer)

  1. “Dedicated To You”Kurt Elling (Concord)
  2. “Lost In Dreams”Curtis Stigers (Concord)
  3. “Revival Of The Fittest”Eric Alexander (HighNote)
  4. “I Remember You”John Hicks (HighNote)
  5. “The Dreamer In Me: Live at Dizzy’s”Freddy Cole (HighNote)
  6. “Wait Till You See Her”John Abercrombie (ECM)
  7. “Desire”Tierney Sutton (Telarc)
  8. “Yesterdays”Keith Jarrett (ECM)
  9. “A Song For You”Ernestine Anderson (HighNote)
  10. “Sketches Of Spain 50th Anniversary”Miles Davis (Columbia/ Legacy)