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Dan Bilawsky's Best Releases of 2011


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Another year is in the books, but the music created and/or released during these twelve months is still around, continuing to serve as a reminder of jazz's majesty. While some continue to complain that jazz is stagnant or at death's door, the finest albums released in 2011 say otherwise. I had the distinct pleasure of reviewing approximately 170 recordings released in this calendar year, and the following list represents the best of the bunch (Note: they are not ranked in order of preference):

Soren Moller
Christian X Variations
(Audial Records)

Dida Pelled
Plays And Sings
(Red Records)

Paul Motian
The Windmills Of Your Mind
(Winter & Winter)

JD Allen
(Sunnyside Records)

Miguel Zenon
Alma Adentro—The Puerto Rican Songbook
(Marsalis Music)

Fred Hersch
Alone At The Vanguard
(Palmetto Records)

Tierney Sutton
American Road
(BFM Jazz)

Judy Wexler
Under A Painted Sky
(Jazzed Media)

Roland Hanna
Colors From A Giant's Kit
(IPO Recordings)

Freddie Hubbard
(Resonance Records)

David Binney
Graylen Epicenter
(Mythology Records)

Roseanna Vitro
The Music Of Randy Newman
(Motema Music)

Jane Ira Bloom
(Outline Music)

Donny McCaslin
Perpetual Motion
Greenleaf Music

Sonny Rollins
Road Shows, Vol. 2
(Doxy Records)

Josh Nelson
(Steel Bird Music)

Mark Weinstein
El Cumbanchero
(Jazzheads Records)

Pablo Held
(Pirouet Records)

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