Compiling end of the year lists is never easy. Considering the quantity of recordings issued during a year, attempting to mention every noteworthy session would result in a list of epic proportions. These few albums are a cross-section of some of the best modern jazz released in 2011, highlighting sophisticated new developments in composition and improvisationfrom coast to coast.
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.