D:O’s Fave Jazz Jamz of 2009

Darius Jones Trio
Man’ish Boy (A Raw and Beautiful Thing)
AUM Fidelity : 2009

DJ, alto sax; Cooper-Moore, piano, Rakalam Bob Moses, drums.

You know what you need? Another freakin top ten list, that’s what.

While we don’t pretend toward comprehensiveness in our listening, we thought it might be of moderate interest to D:O’s abnormally well-informed and good-looking readership to know of some discs that, if you haven’t already heard them, would be worth your valuable time and cents, in our estimation.

A bunch of these were ones that we previewed here on the site and that’s no mistake. We try to only feature music that we think is extraordinary. So here, in alphabetical order, are ten 09 recordings of note:

Darcy James Argue’s Secret Socity. Infernal Machines.
(New Amsterdam)
We don’t necessarily get the steampunk trappings, but we get that these tunes swing in unexpected and beautiful ways.
Amazon | DJA blog

Bill Dixon. tapestries for small orchestra.
(Firehouse 12)
Tectonic sound slabs in concert, in motion, creating low-rumble earthquakes.
Amazon | previously on D:O

Vijay Iyer Trio. Historicity.
The future is now.
Amazon | previously on D:O

Darius Jones Trio. Man’ish Boy.
(AUM Fidelity)
The future is tomorrow. Taking the rough with the smooch.

Steve Lehman Octet. Travail, Transformation, and Flow.
(Pi Recordings)
In case you’re wondering what’s so special about spectral.
Amazon | previously on D:O

Ben Perowsky Quartet. Esopus Opus.
Making the old new again.

Wadada Leo Smith. Spiritual Dimensions.
This was the year of Wadada. This expansive two-fer offers both acoustic abstractions and electric grooves. But don’t sleep on America, his duet with Jack DeJohnette, or the reissued lost classic Procession of the Great Ancestry.
Amazon |

Tyshawn Sorey. Koan.
(482 Music)
What is the sound of one drummer composing?
Amazon | previously on D:O

Henry Threadgill Zooid. This Brings Us To, Volume 1.
(Pi Recordings)
Making a group move.
Amazon | previously on D:O

David S. Ware Quartet. Shakti.
(AUM Fidelity)

Making the new old again.
Amazon |

The most accurate statement concerning jazz in late 2009 is one we read recently: paraphrasing, it’s a great time to be a jazz fan/consumer, but a particularly rough time to be a jazz musician.

There were MANY more jazz albums that gave us tremendous enjoyment over the past year, among them: Arve Henriksen, Cartography; Linda Oh, Entry; Joe Morris, Wildlife & Colorfield & Today on Earth & MVP LSD; Talibam!, Boogie in the Breeze Blocks; Chad Taylor, Circle Down; Mike Reed’s People, Places & Things, About Us, Fantastic Merlins, A Handful of Earth. Does Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics’ buoyant Inspiration Information 3 count as jazz? If so, slap that on our short list, too. Also dug on The Bad Plus’s “Long Distance Runaround,” with Wendy Lewis.

Of course there are also PLENTY of things that we’re still catching up on, chief among them: Dave Douglas’s recent work, John Zorn’s latest, Evan Parker’s The Moment’s Energy, and Cleaver/Parker/Taborn’s Farmers By Nature. And that doesn’t even get into reissues (hello, Congliptious).

What’ve we missed? What are your favorites for the year?

Discussion10 Comments Category Darius Jones, lists Tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

10 Responses to D:O’s Fave Jazz Jamz of 2009

  1. Seems we’re on pretty much the same page regarding this year’s jazz. All of those records resonated with me in various ways and I liked them all. Darius’ even tops my “anything goes” 2009-list as well as my jazz list.

    I recommend the Zorn trio album. Beautiful stuff.

  2. nice list. You could add the two Malaby albums (Paloma Recio and Voladores), the Rob Mazurek quintet Sound Is, Dennis Gonzalez albums or the Tribute To Albert Ayler by Campbell/McPhee/Parker/Smith just to name a few

  3. sorry but I forgot some of my favorite ones: Nuts – Symphony For Old And New Dimensions on Ayler Records, John Hébert – Byzantine Monkey (Firehouse 12), 13th Assembly – (Un)Sentimental (Important Records)

  4. I agree with much of your list (though there are several I have yet to hear.) I also recommend 2 Clean Feed disks, The Marty Ehrlich Rites “Things Have Got To Change” and Harris Eisenstadt “Canada Day.” Ditto on the John Hebert “Byzantine Monkey.”

  5. Great list. I would also recommend Joe Lovano’s “Folk Art”. The interraction between players is constantly shifting around in groups of two or three. I saw this lineup perform in 2006 (minus percussionist Otis Brown III) and they were killing it. Lovano sometimes falls back on what he already knows, but this release shows his desire to keep pushing the limits of jazz.

  6. favorites:

    david s. ware quartet – live in vilnius
    darius jones trio – man’ish boy (a raw & beautiful thing)
    vandermark 5 – annular gift
    ken vandermark – resonance box set
    the thing – bag it!
    digital primitives – hum crackle & pop
    barry guy & mats gustafsson – sinners, rather than saints
    zaum – a is for ox
    john zorn – femina
    han bennink trio – parken
    dave rempis percussion quartet – the disappointment of parsley
    david s. ware – shakti

    also enjoyed ‘full blast’ (brötzmann, pliakes, wertmüller), ‘stolas, book of angels vol. 12 (masada & joe lovano), ‘carnivore’ (quartet offensive), ‘historicity’ (vijay iyer trio)

  7. Although it’s almost free jazz metal, I really enjoyed Zu’s Carboniferous. I’m surprised Evan Parker’s House Full of Floors and Full Blast’s Black Hole didn’t merit a mention.

    I saw Darius Jones playing with Lisle Ellis at The Stone, I’m surprised he’s actually famous as a leader. He was the best soloist besides Lisle himself, so I guess it shouldn’t surprise me.

  8. maaaaaaan i can’t wait for This Brings Us To Vol 2

  9. Improvisations (duo) 2008 -Anthony Braxton & Maral Yakshieva

    Red Canopy-Alfred Harth

    somethingtobesaid-John Butcher Group

    Tenterhooks-Jack Wright Quartet

    Vanity-Grosse Abfahrt

  10. In all honesty, you have a new, devoted follower. Your blog is very inspired, so thank you. I really have to support anyone who approves of Talibam!

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