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It's impossible to do justice to all of the fine new music issued in 2008. So I've listed the eleven discs that had the greatest impact on me. Each one includes the name of the drummer who was essential in making the music special.
Pete Malinverni Invisible Cities (Reservoir Music) Tom Melito
Ellis Marsalis Quartet Open Letter to Thelonious (Elm Music) Jason Marsalis
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.