Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Decade's best jazz?

Patrick Jarenwattananon at A Blog Supreme has thrown down the gauntlet once again, this time asking which jazz albums should be included in a list of the decade's finest. Jazz has always been a great musical sponge, from Jelly Roll Morton's idea of the "Spanish tinge" to today's multi-culti improvisational stew. But the jazz that meets different music on it's own terms and maintains it's identity, is what I find fascinating. With that in mind, I submit the following.
  • Bill Frisell - The Intercontinentals: Frisell takes the music of Mali, Brazil and elsewhere and crafts it to his own unique blend of improvised Americana.
  • William Parker - Raining on the Moon: This R&B inspired album is pure joy, featuring the beautiful singing of Leena Conquest and Parker's great band anchored by the awesome percussion of Hamid Drake.
  • Susie Ibarra - Folkloriko: A beautifully delicate and thoughtful exploration of Filipino migrant culture as seen through improvised jazz.
  • The Bad Plus - Prog: Media always seems to focus on the groups witty covers, but here it's the thoughtful compositions and improvisations that take center stage.
  • Ornette Coleman - Sound Grammar: The music is classic Coleman with sweeping joyful arcs of alto on some reinterpretations of classics and a few new compositions.
Send your choices to Tim.