By Robert Bush
After intense deliberation, here are the top 10 jazz releases of the year
Even though jazz is best experienced live, there are always albums that populate that proverbial “desert-island” aesthetic. The number of discs that qualify as”Made in Chicago essential seems to grow every year, and often the difference between what gets on my list and what just misses can be excruciating.
Nonetheless, the choice for No. 1 is usually crystal clear for me, and that maxim is certainly true for 2015. Here then are my favorite new recordings (plus one reissue) for the year.
1. Jack DeJohnette, “Made In Chicago” (ECM)
2. Wadada Leo Smith and John Lindberg, “Celestial Weather” (TUM)
3. Jon Irabagon, “Inaction Is Action” (Irabagast Recordings)
4. Barry Altschul & 3 Dom Factor, “Tales of the Unforeseen” (TUM)
5. Terrence McManus and John Hebert, “Saints & Sinners” (Rowhouse Music L.L.C.)
6. John Abercrombie, “The First Quartet” (ECM)
7. Chris Lightcap’s Bigmouth, “Epicenter” (CleanFeed)
-The record brings thoroughly modern music from the pen of Lightcap, and I’m a believer in the twin-tenor concept blazed by Tony Malaby and Chris Speed. Craig Taborn and Gerald Cleaver round out this session.
8. Rudresh Mahanthappa, “Bird Calls” (ACT)
9. Myra Melford, “Snowy Egret” (Enja Yellowbird)
10. Evan Parker, Joe Morris and Nate Wooley, “Ninth Square” (CleanFeed)
-One listen to the independent soliloquies that open this disc clearly indicates that this is the real deal. Tension gets ratcheted to a delirium – then Parker cranks it even further.