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AllAboutJazz-New York's Best of 2005

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Yes, it's that time again. The season for turkey dinners, holiday cheer and, soon, New Year's resolutions is also the time for reflection and endless best of lists. Hopefully you'll see ours first, before you have become numb to every publication in sight choosing their year's highlights. Though a new year is around the corner, with its to-be-released albums, as-yet-unheard performances and unachieved important achievements, there is still time to reflect on what has transpired in the past 12 months. We are not a news journal so comments on the state of the world would be inappropriate and better mentioned elsewhere. But as New York's only homegrown jazz gazette, we can speak about events and people in the city's, and world's, jazz community. Our center spread is devoted to a host of "Best Of s from archival recordings to musicians to clubs. The process of culling these choices is probably something like Santa uses to assign gifts versus coal: shrouded in mystery. We have checked our list more than twice and are proud to present to our readers AllAboutJazz-New York's Best of 2005.

But before you turn the page, we would like to look back at some trends and happenings that we feel were hallmarks of this past year...

Where is Brooklyn?

If Don Cherry had recorded this famous album now, he might have had to change its title. Brooklyn has always been a vital part of New York's jazz scene but the past year has seen its profile increase even more. The borough's renaissance began in 2003 with the opening of Barbès in Park Slope. That club has continued to put on great shows, often by the neighborhood's musical community, month after month. But now they have some friendly competition. The French café-cum-jazz club Zebulon has become one of the city's most vibrant venues, helped by their quality booking, no cover charge and popular Williamsburg location. Other entries include the down-to-earthiness of The Backroom or The Pourhouse, the cozy caffeination of the Tea Lounge, the moody lighting of Koze Lounge, Cornelia Street Café's sister club Night and Day and the absolutely stunning rotunda of Issue Project Room. Don't forget the places that have been there for a while though, like Sistas' Place or The Jazz Spot in Bed-Stuy. Where is Brooklyn? The question is where isn't Brooklyn!

Yankee come here

The history of jazz as an expatriate artform is a storied one. For as long as there have been American jazz musicians, there have been supporters from overseas. If last year showed how far a musician can go while self-releasing their albums, 2005 demonstrated that there are new labels in Europe willing to take chances. Between Portugal's Clean Feed, Poland's Not Two and France's Rogue Arts, NYC musicians have had a bevy of new recordings. Of course European labels have always been there; this is just the latest flock. When at the stores, don't forget the UK's Leo and Emanem/Psi, Sweden's Ayler and Moserobie, Denmark's SteepleChase, Norway's Smalltown Supersound and Jazzaway, Italy's Soul Note and Camjazz, Germany's FMP, Skip, Between the Lines and Enja and Switzerland's hatHUT and Intakt. The EU and US might have there differences but not on the record store shelves.

If you want it done right...

Self-released albums have been going on for decades but this year some very established artists decided to do what John Zorn and Tzadik have been excelling at for years: start their own labels. Though Branford Marsalis' Marsalis Music, Dave Douglas' Greenleaf, Dave Holland's Dare2 and Jack DeJohnette's Golden Beams are all relatively new imprints, they all have tremendous energy behind them. We will keep close eyes on them in 2006 and see what other musicians might be similarly inspired.

Short and Sweet

During the Golden Ages of jazz, when LPs were king, technical limitations meant that albums couldn't exceed 45 minutes. But given the quality and focus of that era's sessions, who cares? But with the advent of compact discs, with a time capacity of close to 80 minutes, for a while many musicians felt the need to fill up this available space, regardless of whether they had enough quality material to warrant such a decision. This led to lots of good albums that lost steam after the hour-mark and lots of nostalgia for the good old days. The technology won't go backwards but more and more players are seeing the benefits of brevity, releasing records under an hour at most, some even going back to under-40 minute days of the late '50s. There is nothing more satisfying than having an album be over before you have a chance to get sick of it. Listeners are also more likely to sit through albums more than once if the time committment is more reasonable.



Performances of the Year

BRIAN BLADE

Jon Cowherd, Myron Walden, Melvin Butler, Chris Thomas, Mark Griffith

Joe's Pub, January 13th

PAT METHENY

Lyle Mays, Steve Rodby, Cuong Vu, Antonio Sanchez, Gregoire Maret, Nando Lauria

Beacon Theater, April 2nd

OLIVER LAKE BIG BAND

Jazz Gallery, May 7th

CHICK COREA

Tom Brechtlein, Carles Benavent, Jorge Pardo, Rubem Dantas

JVC Jazz Festival, Rose Hall, June 16th

GERALD CLEAVER

Jeremy Pelt, JD Allen, Ben Waltzer, Chris Lightcap, Andrew Bishop

Cornelia Street Café, August 12th

KNEEBODY

Adam Benjamin, Shane Endsley, Kaveh Rastegar, Ben Wendel, Nate Wood

Festival of New Trumpet, Tonic, August 13th

TERENCE BLANCHARD

Lionel Loueke, Brice Winston, Aaron Parks, Derrick Hodge, Kendrick Scott

Joe's Pub, September 18th

KEITH JARRETT SOLO

Carnegie Hall, September 26th

BENOÃŽT DELBECQ SOLO

Jazz Gallery, October 5th

MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS SOLO, ORCHESTRA

Community Church of New York, November 11th

-David R. Adler



ABBEY LINCOLN

Marc Cary, Michael Bowie, Jaz Sawyer

Aaron Davis Hall, March 11th

ANDREW HILL

Charles Tolliver, Greg Tardy, John Hebert, Eric McPherson

Birdland, May 20th

TED CURSON/HENRY GRIMES DUO

Cornelia Street Café, June 2nd

WARM: REGGIE WORKMAN, PHEEROAN AKLAFF, SAM RIVERS, ROSCOE MITCHELL

Vision Festival, June 16th

WAYNE SHORTER

Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, Brian Blade

JVC Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, June 17th

JAZZ LEGACY: A PORTRAIT OF JIM HALL

Steve LaSpina, Terry Clarke, Bill Charlap, Tom Harrell, Joe Lovano, Peter Bernstein and others

Jazz in July, 92nd Street Y, July 21st

GENE BERTONCINI SOLO

Jazz Standard, August 25th

EITHER/ORCHESTRA WITH MULATU ASTATQÉ

Joe's Pub, October 13th

MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS ORCHESTRA

Community Church of New York, November 11th

SHEILA JORDAN

Steve Kuhn, David Finck, Billy Drummond

Sweet Rhythm, November 17th

-Laurence Donohue-Greene



JASON GILLENWATER, AMANDA MONACO, JEFF DAVIS

Downtown Music Gallery, January 16th

TED DANIEL'S INTERNATIONAL BRASS AND MEMBRANE CORPORATION

Charles Burnham, Jose Davila, Newman Taylor Baker Vision Club, February 12th

ERIK FRIEDLANDER SOLO

Museum of Jewish Heritage, March 2nd

JOHN BUTCHER/GERRY HEMINGWAY

Roulette at Location One, April 16th

DAVID KRAKAUER'S KLEZMER MADNESS!

So Called, Sheryl Bailey, Rob Curto, Nicki Parrot, Mike Sarin

Joe's Pub, April 30th

ANDREW HILL

Charles Tolliver, Greg Tardy, John Hebert, Eric McPherson

Birdland, May 21st

WAYNE SHORTER

Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, Brian Blade

JVC Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, June 17th

CYRO BAPTISTA'S BEAT THE DONKEY

Knitting Factory, July 16th

EDMUND WELLES

Cornelius Boots, Scott Hill, Sheldon Brown, Aaron Novik

The Stone, August 26th

NED ROTHENBERG, DAVID TRONZO, SATOSHI TAKEISHI, TONY BUCK

Issue Project Room, November 13th

-Andrey Henkin



WALLACE RONEY

Hiromi, Anthony Jackson, Martin Valihora

Blue Note, January 6th

CECIL TAYLOR BIG BAND

Iridium, February 20th

ROY HAYNES

Marcus Strickland, Martin Bejerano, John Sullivan

Village Vanguard, March 20th

KENNY BARRON

Ray Drummond, Grady Tate

Dizzy's Club, April 24th

DANA LEONG'S WORLD TRIBE

Miya Masaoka, Edmar Castañeda, Kahlil Kwame Bell, Claudia Acuña

Joe's Pub, April 30th

WAYNE SHORTER

Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, Brian Blade

JVC Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, June 17th

PAUL MOTIAN, JOE LOVANO, BILL FRISELL

Village Vanguard, September 15th

CHARLIE HADEN LIBERATION MUSIC ORCHESTRA

Blue Note, October 6th

SONNY FORTUNE

Xavier Davis, Chip Jackson, Steve Johns

Sweet Rhythm, October 28th

JASON LINDNER BIG BAND

Jazz Standard, November 3rd

-Russ Musto

Albums of the Year

AGRAZING MAZE - At the End of the Day (Foxhaven)

TERENCE BLANCHARD - Flow (Blue Note)

ROGER KELLAWAY - Remembering Bobby Darin (IPO)

STEVE LEHMAN - Demian as Posthuman (Pi)

CHARLES LLOYD - Jumping the Creek (ECM)

MAT MANERI - Pentagon (Thirsty Ear)

BEN MONDER - Oceana (Sunnyside)

DYLAN VAN DER SCHYFF - The Definition of a Toy (Songlines)

CUONG VU - It's Mostly Residual (ArtistShare)

MYRON WALDEN - This Way (Fresh Sound-New Talent)

-David R. Adler



DAVE DOUGLAS - Mountain Passages (Green Leaf)

EITHER/ORCHESTRA - Ethiopiques 20: Live in Addis (Buda Musique)

JAMES FINN - Plaza de Toros (Clean Feed)

CHARLIE HADEN LIBERATION MUSIC ORCHESTRA - Not In Our Name (Verve)

JIM HALL - Magic Meeting (ArtistShare)

VIJAY IYER - Reimagining (Savoy)

JOE LOVANO - Joyous Encounter (Blue Note)

RANDY SANDKE - The Mystic Trumpeter (Evening Star)

WAYNE SHORTER - Beyond the Sound Barrier (Verve)

JESSICA WILLIAMS - Live at Yoshi's Volume Two (MAXJAZZ)

-Laurence Donohue-Greene



ANTHONY BRAXTON - Ninetet (Yoshi's) 1997. Vol. 3 (Leo)

SATOKO FUJII - Live in Japan 2004 (Natsat)

SUNNY MURRAY - Perles Noires Vol. 2 (Eremite)

MARC RIBOT - Spiritual Unity (Pi)

ROVA ORCHESTROVA - Electric Ascension 2003 (Atavistic)

KEN VANDERMARK - Alchemia (Not Two)

ALEX VON SCHLIPPENBACH/PAUL DUNMALL QUARTET - Vesuvious (Slam)

ALEX VON SCHLIPPENBACH - Monk's Casino (Intakt)

DAVID S. WARE - Live in the World (Thirsty Ear)

JOHN ZORN'S MASADA - Sanhredrin (Tzadik)

-Bruce Gallanter



MICHAEL ATTIAS - Renku (Playscape)

PETER BROTZMANN/HAN BENNINK Still Quite Popular After All These Years (Eremite)

EDMUND WELLES - Agrippa's 3 Books (Self-released)

FREE MUSIC ENSEMBLE - Cuts (Okkadisk)

THE FRINGE - Live at Zeitgeist (Resolution)

MATS GUSTAFSSON - Catapult (Doubt)

BARRY GUY - Oort-Entropy (Intakt)

JOHN HOLLENBECK - Semi-Formal (Cuneiform)

WAYNE SHORTER - Beyond the Sound Barrier (Verve)

KEITH TIPPETT, STEPHEN GREW, HOWARD RILEY, PAT THOMAS - Pianoforte (Slam)

-Andrey Henkin



CLUBS/VENUES

BARBÈS (Park Slope)

DIZZY'S CLUB (Columbus Circle)

JAZZ STANDARD (Murray Hill)

THE STONE (Alphabet City)

ZEBULON (Williamsburg)

RECORD LABELS

ARBORS

ARTISTSHARE

CLEAN FEED

NOT TWO

TZADIK

REISSUED RECORDINGS

CANNONBALL ADDERLEY - In Europe (Capitol Jazz-EMI)

MARION BROWN - Marion Brown (ESP)

AHMAD JAMAL - The Legendary Okeh and Epic Recordings (Epic-Legacy)

ROSWELL RUDD - Roswell Rudd (America-Universal)

ALAN SKIDMORE - Once Upon a Time (Deram Nova-Vocalion)

LATIN/AFRO/WORLD RELEASES

EITHER/ORCHESTRA - Ethiopiques 20: Live in Addis (Buda Musique)

FANFARE CIOCARLI - Gili Garaboi (Asphalt Tango)

EDDIE PALMIERI - Listen Here! (Concord Picante)

PONCHO SANCHEZ - Do It! (Concord Picante)

BEBO VALDES - Bebo de Cuba (Calle 54)

VOCAL RELEASES

DENA DEROSE - A Walk in the Park (MAXJAZZ)

LORRAINE FEATHER - Dooji Wooji (Sanctuary)

SHEILA JORDAN/CAMERON BROWN - Celebration: Live at the Triad (HighNote)

MARK MURPHY - Once to Every Heart (Verve)

TIERNEY SUTTON - I'm With the Band (Telarc)

UNEARTHED ARCHIVAL RECORDINGS

GRAHAM COLLIER - Workpoints (Cuneiform)

JOHN COLTRANE - One Down, One Up: Live at the Half Note (Verve)

TOMMY FLANAGAN - Solo Piano (Storyville)

RUSS FREEMAN - Safe at Home (Just A Memory)

DIZZY GILLESPIE/CHARLIE PARKER - Town Hall, New York City June 22, 1945 (Uptown)

ANDREW HILL - Mosaic Select 16 (Blue Note-Mosaic)

ALBERT MANGELSDORFF - Triplicity (Skip)

THELONIOUS MONK QUARTET WITH JOHN COLTRANE - At Carnegie Hall (Thelonious-Blue Note)

PAUL WHITEMAN - At Carnegie Hall (Nostalgia Arts)

JOE WILLIAMS/BEN WEBSTER - Havin' A Good Time (Hyena)

MUSICIANS OF THE YEAR

CHARLIE HADEN

HANK JONES

PAUL MOTIAN

SONNY ROLLINS

MARIA SCHNEIDER

BOX SET RELEASES

COUNT BASIE - The Complete Clef/Verve Count Basie Fifties Studio Recordings (Mosaic)

BILL EVANS - The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961 (Riverside-Concord Music Group)

JELLY ROLL MORTON - The Complete Library of Congress Recordings (Rounder)

KEN VANDERMARK - Alchemia (Not Two)

ALEX VON SCHLIPPENBACH - Monk's Casino (Intakt)

DEBUT ALBUMS

NEAL CAINE - Backstabber's Ball (Smalls)

ANAT COHEN - Place & Time (Anzic)

HAMID DRAKE - Bindu (Rogue Art)

RUSS JOHNSON - Save Big (OmniTone)

JALEEL SHAW - Perspective (Fresh Sound-New Talent)

LARGE ENSEMBLE RELEASES

EITHER/ORCHESTRA - Ethiopiques 20: Live in Addis (Buda Musique)

CHARLIE HADEN LIBERATION MUSIC ORCHESTRA - Not In Our Name (Verve)

MINGUS BIG BAND/DYNASTY/ORCHESTRA - I Am Three (Sue Mingus Music-Sunnyside)

MARIA SCHNEIDER ORCHESTRA - Live at Jazz Standard - Days of Wine and Roses (ArtistShare)

GERALD WILSON ORCHESTRA - In My Time (Mack Avenue)

JAZZ BOOKS

Dizzy: The Life and Times of John Birks Gillespie Donald L. Maggin (Harper Collins)

Northern Sun, Southern Moon - Mike Heffley (Yale University Press)

Sun Ra: The Immeasurable Equation James L.Wolf/Hartmut Geerken (Waitawhile)

Take Five: The Public and Private Lives of Paul Desmond Doug Ramsey (Parkside Publications)

Tommy Dorsey: Livin' in a Great Big Way - Peter Levinson (Da Capo Press)

TRIBUTE RECORDINGS

JOE GIARDULLO - No Work Today: Nine for Steve Lacy (Drimala)

GILLES LAHEURTE - Dreams (Self-Gratifying Prod.)

ONE MORE - Music of Thad Jones (IPO)

MARC RIBOT - Spiritual Unity (Pi)


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