Even as it seemed that jazz continued its trajectory into the outer limits, there was no lack of pure swinging excellence to experience this past year. Although many of these releases probably flew under the radar of jazz followers with wider ranging tastes, this reviewer always finds it necessary to remind us all how vital and engaging the mainstream vernacular can be in the right hands. In addition, drummers placed at the top with highly musical efforts, while the ever-popular Pat Metheny took honors both under his own name and in a sublime tribute from fellow plectrist John Pizzarelli.
Louis Armstrong The Complete Columbia and RCA Victor Sessions 1946-1966 Mosaic Records
Lee Morgan The Complete Live at the Lighthouse Blue Note
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