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Troy Collins' Best of 2008

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Narrowing down the hundreds of releases heard over a year to a mere handful is never an easy task. The new millennium has proven to be a fertile period for jazz (in all its guises); attempting to mention every album of a high caliber would result in a list of prolix proportions. In an effort to constrain such effusiveness, I have chosen the recordings I consistently returned to throughout the year.

For those interested in contemporary trends it is worth noting that the vast majority of titles listed below were released by independent labels. Much ink has been spilled in the past few years about the future of the music industry in relation to internet downloading and the contrasts between major and independent record labels. For those interested in knowing where the music is headed, the future of jazz lies underground, where it began.

New Releases


Ben Allison
Little Things Run The World

(Palmetto)

Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band
Season of Changes

(Verve)

Anthony Braxton/Milford Graves/William Parker
Beyond Quantum

(Tzadik)



Conference Call
Poetry in Motion

(Clean Feed)

Satoko Fujii Ma-Do
Heat Wave

(Not Two)

Joel Harrison
The Wheel

(Innova)



Dave Holland
Pass It On

(Emarcy)

Vijay Iyer
Tragicomic

(Sunnyside)

Donny McCaslin
Recommended Tools

(Greenleaf)



Nicole Mitchell
Xenogenesis Suite: A Tribute to Octavia Butler

(Firehouse 12)

Joe Morris Bass Quartet
High Definition

(Hatology)

Mostly Other People Do The Killing
This Is Our Moosic

(Hot Cup)



William Parker Quartet
Petit Oiseau

(AUM Fidelity)

Mario Pavone
Trio Arc

(Playscape)

Vandermark 5
Beat Reader

(Atavistic)


New Discoveries


Michael Bates
Clockwise

(Greenleaf)

Samuel Blaser
7th Heaven

(Between The Lines)

Cosmologic
Eyes in the Back of My Head

(Cuneiform)



Scott Dubois
Banshees

(Sunnyside)

Fight the Big Bull
Dying Will Be Easy

(Clean Feed)

Mary Halvorson Trio
Dragon's Head

(Firehouse 12)



Rob Mosher's Storytime
The Tortoise

(Independent)

Matana Roberts Quartet
The Chicago Project

(Central Control)

Angelica Sanchez
Life Between

(Clean Feed)

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