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2010 was special for its sheer quality in quantity. While no one album truly ran away from the pack (as evidenced by the vast disagreements between other writers' top recording lists this year), each month seemed to produce something new and fantastic. Represented here are 15 releases, some by well-established names and some by new(ish) faces, all highly deserving of greater recognition. While I always look for a diverse array of artists, labels, instrumentation, styles, etc., the only consideration in assembling this list was great music with emotional impact. The resulting variety was only a happy coincidence.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.