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?

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