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Year in Review

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


Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band
Season of Changes


Anthony Braxton/Milford Graves/William Parker
Beyond Quantum


Conference Call
Poetry in Motion

(Clean Feed)

Satoko Fujii Ma-Do
Heat Wave

(Not Two)

Joel Harrison
The Wheel


Dave Holland
Pass It On


Vijay Iyer


Donny McCaslin
Recommended Tools


Nicole Mitchell
Xenogenesis Suite: A Tribute to Octavia Butler

(Firehouse 12)

Joe Morris Bass Quartet
High Definition


Mostly Other People Do The Killing
This Is Our Moosic

(Hot Cup)

William Parker Quartet
Petit Oiseau

(AUM Fidelity)

Mario Pavone
Trio Arc


Vandermark 5
Beat Reader


New Discoveries

Michael Bates


Samuel Blaser
7th Heaven

(Between The Lines)

Eyes in the Back of My Head


Scott Dubois


Fight the Big Bull
Dying Will Be Easy

(Clean Feed)

Mary Halvorson Trio
Dragon's Head

(Firehouse 12)

Rob Mosher's Storytime
The Tortoise


Matana Roberts Quartet
The Chicago Project

(Central Control)

Angelica Sanchez
Life Between

(Clean Feed)

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