Compiling end of the year lists is never an easy task. Considering the quantity of recordings released in a year's time, attempting to mention every notable album would result in an unfocused list of epic proportions. The titles listed below are among the most exceptional albums of the past year. These few records embody a fertile cross-section of some of the best modern jazz of 2010, spotlighting the sophisticated developments of the post M-Base crowd, erudite advancements to the tradition from the Brooklyn and Chicago scenes, and remarkable endeavors by post-war legends.
I was first exposed to jazz while working overseas in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I would listen to the Voice of America on the radio and they had a nightly jazz program on at 10:00pm. I learned a lot about jazz listening to this program. I also had a friend who listened to real jazz by artists like Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy and Archie Shepp. On my way home from Africa I landed in New York and had the opportunity to see the George Adams/Don Pullen quartet at the Village Vanguard as well as Kenny Barron and Ron Carter at another club, and was in heaven.