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C. Michael Bailey's Best Releases of 2010

C. Michael Bailey By

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My approach to selecting what I consider the best recordings of the year has changed every year. In 2010, I am citing those discs to which I gave 5 out of 5 stars. About midway through the year, I restricted myself to largely vocal jazz releases, explaining the abundance of such recordings on the list.

Various Artists

Fire In My Bones: Raw, Rare & Otherworldly African-American Gospel 1944-2007

"Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay." Jeremiah 20:9 (KJV)...continue.

John Pizzarelli

Rockin' In Rhythm: A Tribute to Duke Ellington

John Pizzarelli is a walking, talking embarrassment of riches. He has a great pedigree, as his father, Bucky Pizzarelli, was a prodigious guitar talent (on a seven-string guitar, no less)...continue.

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones: Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! The Roling Stones in Concert (40th Anniversary Deluxe Box Set)

What is the measure of a great live music recording? That answer would be intellectual brevity, spontaneity and invention...continue.

Gene Harris Quartet

Another Night in London

Pianist Eric Reed once described Gene Harris (1933-2000) thusly, "Gene Harris = Power!" Harris often described himself as "a blues pianist with chops..."continue.

Ray Charles

Ray Charles: Genius + Soul = Jazz

Ray Charles spent the 1950s and 1960s transforming the atomic American musics of gospel, the blues, R&B and country into what has been tagged "soul..."continue.

Paris Troika

Paris Troika

The horizon of hip jazz keyboard trios is littered with the likes of The Bad Plus, Medeski, Martin, Woods, the Big Apple Trio and Soulive....continue.

Art Pepper

Art Pepper: Unreleased Art, Vol. V: Stuttgart, May 25, 1981

Since 2006, alto saxophonist Art Pepper's discography has grown by a CD of previously unreleased or limited released performances per year....continue.

Antonio Aldolfo/Carol Saboya

La e Ca: Here and There

La e Ca: Here and There is ostensibly a piano-oriented album by Brazilian pianist/composer Antonio Adolfo, featuring frequent collaborator and vocalist Carol Saboya...continue.

Jennifer Zarine

Fresh Made Cuppa Tea

A seizure of nostalgia has gripped the jazz vocals community and shows no evidence of abating...continue.

Scott and Lara St. John/The Knights/Eric Jacobsen

Mozart

Ever since the consumptive and mysterious Nicolo Paganini took the stage, breaking three of his four famous fiddle strings, playing on the remaining G, and declaring "the artist as hero..."continue.

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra/JoAnn Falletta

Marcel Tyberg: Symphony No. 3, Piano Trio

Often, the story behind the music makes it that much more compelling. Marcel Tyberg was an Austrian composer of certain repute...continue.

Los angeles Philharmonic/Esa-Pekka Salonen; Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir/Tonu Kalijuste

Arvo Part: Symphony No. 4

It is entirely too easy to look at the past and wonder where the greatness is today. In 1734 George Frideric Handel was composing operas at London's Covent Garden. ...continue.

Carol Morgan Trio

Opening

Trumpeter Carol Morgan has a smile as big as her Texas home, and chops expertly informed by Ingrid Jensen, among others, at Juilliard...continue.

Mitchel Forman

Lost and Found

This wonderfully strange disc, Lost and Found is the result of a confluence of spirits... continue.

Jan Garbarek/the Hilliard Ensemble

Officium Novum

At first blush, there is really no reason the eutection of early a capellamusic and modern saxophone should work....continue.

Elton John and Leon Russell

The Union

Elton John and Leon Russell are not so unlikely musical colleagues. Russell is slightly the elder, at 68 to John's 63, and within the age difference of two brothers...continue.

Art Pepper

Jazz Showcase: Chicago

This 1977 Chicago Art Pepper performance was bootlegged in Spain. As it was stolen to begin with, the saxophonist's widow, Laurie Pepper re-purloined it...continue.

Daniella Eva

Road and Moon

Danielle Eva emerges a fully formed jazz vocalist on her debut, Road and Moon...continue.

KellyLee Evans

Nina

Every once in a while an homage project comes along actually doing what it sets out to do: pay homage....continue.

Bettye LaVette

Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook

Cross Nina Simone with Tina Turner and you get Bettye LaVette. Finally receiving the attention she deserves, LaVette finds herself on a most receptive world stage ...continue.

Cassandra Wilson

Silver Pony

Brilliant in spite of its ragged texture, Cassandra Wilson's Silver Pony justly illuminates the important influence Wilson has had on all jazz vocals, since her artistic breakthrough with 1993's Blue Light 'Til Dawn (Blue Note)...continue.

Laurie Antonioli

American Dreams

American Dreams brings us to the contemporary Laurie Antonioli. The disc is a collection of originals, standards and ringers that together act as the most logical evolution out of Foreign Affair...continue.

Elisabeth Lohninger

Songs of Love and Destruction

Austrian-American Elisabeth Lohninger is emerging as a major creative force in jazz vocals....continue.

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