Jazz Gems, Modern Mainstream, 2010

When I hear somebody I don’t know is a jazz fan, I almost always ask him or her ‘how are you dealing with the cornucopia?’

Earlier I highlighted some rock records from this year that have earned more than my attention.

With jazz the challenge in doing the same is, for me, longstanding. There’s just way-too-much artistry moved to crank out recordings I want to deal with. It’s funny too because I’ve largely finished dealing with the music’s history–a 20+ year task. Yet, the music just keeps rolling in. Unlike it is with pop and rock music, the number of jazz artists whose artistry beckons me to deal with every last recorded note is–how to put it–legion.

The following four records are all Five Star moments. I could have listed many more in the mainstream mode. I’ll follow up with a few choices from envelope pushers.

Dave Holland - PathwaysDave Holland Octet
Dare2 Records

More goodness in the post-bop modern mode from the ever-consistent, ever probing master bass player, composer, and auteur of the modern jazz ensemble. review at allaboutjazz

Keith Jarrett-Charlie Haden - Jasmine Keith Jarrett – Charlie Haden
ECM Records

The pianist and bassist present their latest argument for the existence of musical ESP. review at allaboutjazz

Warriors - The CookersWarriors
The Cookers
JIP Records

Collect giants of modern hard bop and modal jazz together and you get this: stirring and masterly essays on the state of the art. Billy Harper (tenor sax), Eddie Henderson (trumpet), Craig Handy (alto sax/flute), George Cables (piano), Cecil McBee (bass) and Billy Hart (drums)

Jessica WilliamsJessica Williams
Jazz Focus Records[/td][td]No surprise here: the gifted pianist for the umpteenth time demonstrates her probing genius in another daring recital.
review at allaboutjazz

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