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Best of / Year End

Bruce Lindsay's Best Releases of 2011

By Published: December 20, 2011
What sort of a year did jazz have in 2011? On the evidence of my Top Ten, a very varied and fascinating one. The human voice did well—Liane Carroll and Kaz Simmons
Kaz Simmons
Kaz Simmons
b.1978
vocalist
produced beautiful, engaging and honest recordings that stir the emotions in very different ways. Finland did alright too, thanks to superb albums from Iiro Rantala and Verneri Pohjola. And the '50s and '60s also manage to claim two of the Top Ten spots, with retrospectives from Joe Harriott
Joe Harriott
Joe Harriott
1928 - 1973
saxophone
and Jan Johansson
Jan Johansson
1931 - 1968
piano
that should help to expand the reputations of both musicians. Instruments of the year? Well, the clarinet family might lay claim to that award. It's been a good year for the ursine community as well—who can resist Bears In Cowboy Hats, especially when (ably assisted by Daniel Bennett
Daniel Bennett
Daniel Bennett
b.1979
saxophone
) they create such a life-affirming mix of jazz and Americana?

So here, in my humble opinion, are ten of the best of 2011:






Daniel Bennett
Daniel Bennett
Daniel Bennett
b.1979
saxophone

Peace And Stability Among Bears
(Bennett Alliance)





Arun Ghosh
Arun Ghosh
Arun Ghosh

clarinet

Primal Odyssey
(Camoci Records)





Jan Johansson
Jan Johansson
1931 - 1968
piano

in Hamburg
(ACT Music)





Kaz Simmons
Kaz Simmons
Kaz Simmons
b.1978
vocalist

Dandelions
(Fast Awake Records)





Les Doigts De L'Homme
1910
(Alma Records)





Liane Carroll
Up And Down
(Quietmoney Recordings)





Joe Harriott
Joe Harriott
Joe Harriott
1928 - 1973
saxophone

The Joe Harriott Story
(Proper Box UK)





Iiro Rantala
Lost heroes
(ACT Music)





Verneri Pohjola}
Aurora
(ACT Music)





Matthew Halsall
On The Go
(Gondwana Records)


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