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Dan McClenaghan's 2008 Top Ten

Dan McClenaghan By

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Here are ten of 2008's jazz CDs that charmed and seduced me, or grabbed my lapels and wouldn't let go.

Bobo Stenson Trio
ECM Records

A piano trio set of incredible subtlety, depth and beauty, with Swedish pianist joined by bassist Anders Jormin and drummer Jon Falt.

Frank Macchia
Cacophony Records

Tenor Saxophonist Frank Macchia blowing pure and sweet and powerfully in front of The Prague Orchestra in an excellent addition to the "Jazz With Strings" genre.

Brad Mehldau Trio
Nonesuch Records

This double CD set, recorded live at The Village Vanguard, showcases the Brad Mehldau Trio at it's intricate, interactive best, stretching out in an erudite in the groove atmosphere..

Joe Locke
Force of Four
Origin Records

Vibraphonist Joe Locke hasn't had the highest of profiles, but his recent work on Origin Records has been garnering him some well-deserved attention.

Jessica Williams
Songs for a New Century
Origin Records

Jessica Williams pushes her solo piano artistry forward, on a luminous set of songs. She can channel Monk or Art Tatum like nobody else, but here it's just Jessica being Jessica. You feel as if you know a beautiful soul after listening to this.

Natsuki Tamura-Satoko Fujii
Libra Records

Trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and pianist Satoko Fujii work in a variety of ensemble configurations, but their duet discs are particularly enriching listening experiences.

Jessica Williams
Tatum's Ultimatum
Red and Blue Recordings

Jessica Williams, solo, immerses herself in the spirit of the great Art Tatum, and plays fast, with a joyful momentum. One of her finest recordings.

Nik Bartsch's Ronin
ECM Records

Nik Bartsch's Ronin, with a tight/organic feeling, digs even deeper into its ritual groove music.

Cuong Vu

With a wired-up trumpet, electronics and a powerhouse backing, Cuong Vu has created a music that sounds as if it might have soared in from outer space.

Vassilis Tsabropoulos/Anja Lechner/U.T. Ghandi
ECM Records

Vassilis Tsabropoulos' supple piano, with cellist Anja Lechner's rich and resonant weave, backed by U.T. Ghandi's understated percussion. These are the loveliest of sounds.


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