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Thread: Best Of 2007

  1. #1
    Registered User WorldB3's Avatar
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    Best Of 2007

    I was inspired to start this after reading Wordsandsounds blog and comments regarding end of year lists “While of course these are never complete, never inclusive enough, and never accurately represent things as well as they can, they are fun and usually insightful since they do serve some positives especially for people to learn how their particular tastes jive with another persons”. I agree and I look forward to what some of you will post here. I also want to say 2007 was stellar in my opinion and trying to make a top ten list out of the 35 new titles I was lucky enough to get my hands on was no easy task. For some of you with larger collections and the reviewers on this site I imagine it will be even more difficult as there were so many solid releases this year.

    With that a salute to 2007 and the list:

    But first just to get them out of the way the Monk and Trane at Carnegie Hall awards this year (or released for the first time in 2007 but not of 2007) go to:

    Keith Jarrett – My Foolish Heart
    Miles Davis – Live At Monterey 1963
    Charles Mingus w/ Eric Dolphy – Cornell

    I was going to take the easy way out and just put these three in my top ten for the year but that wouldn’t be fair and how do you rank an all time classic?


    The list:

    Enrico Pieranunzi– Live In Japan
    Sam Yahel – Truth and Beauty
    Chris Potter – Follow The Red Line
    Kenny Werner – Lawn Chair Society
    John Abercrombie – Third Quartet
    Fred Anderson – From The Ocean To The River
    Antonio Sanchez – Migration
    Dino Saluzzi & Anja Lechner -Ojos Negro
    Donny McCaslin – In Pursuit
    Dave Douglas – Live At The Jazz Standard
    Steve Kuhn – Live At Birdland


    Non Jazz:

    Iron and Wine – Sheppard’s Dog
    Radiohead – In Rainbows
    Mavis Staples – We Shall Overcome
    Sharon Jones – 100 Days / 100 Nights
    Neil Young – Live At Massey Hall
    Spoon - GaGaGaGa

    I didn't include reissues but please feel free to list some.

  2. #2
    wired for hound papsrus's Avatar
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    Still finalizing a list here, but I too have been giving this some thought lately. Going over what really struck a chord, so to speak.

    You're right WB3, it really was an incredible year of music. There are more than a few titles I initially thought would be certain to make my top 10 list, but got edged out in the end because the top tier is just so gooooooood, IMHO. (If I didn't limit it to 10, I'd end up with a list much too long. Part of the reason I'm still struggling with it a little).

    Anyways, nice list(s) WB3! Will be watching with interest. Will post list soon ...
    "There comes a time in all of our lives where silence is a betrayal." -- The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  3. #3
    jazz viking FAH's Avatar
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    I've checked my shelves, and here are my favorite releases of 2007 (some of which I heard thanks to emusic):

    Adam Lane/Ken Vandermark/Magnus Broo/Paal Nilssen-Love: 4 Corners (Clean Feed). Powerful, driving jazz by a top-notch "all-star" group.

    Fredrik Ljungkvist & Yun Kan 5: Badaling (Caprice). This band also played one of the best shows I've seen this year (where I bought this album).

    Fred Anderson & Hamid Drake: From The River To The Ocean (Thrill Jockey). There seems to be a consensus about this one, but let me just add my voice to the choir here: a magnificent session.

    Taylor Ho Bynum: The Middle Picture (Firehouse 12). A very impressive disc by one of Braxton's most important collaborators of recent years.

    Muhal Richard Abrams/George Lewis/Roscoe Mitchell: Streaming (Pi Recordings). Anything with those three is worth hearing. This is just superlative.

    Axel Dörner/Rudi Mahall/Jan Roder/Uli Jennessen: Die Enttäuschung (Intakt). I know for some this really was a "disappointment", but I quite liked it.

    Keith Tippett Tapestry Orchestra: Live At Le Mans (Red Eye Music). While this recording is almost ten years old, it certainly is one of the most ambitious and important large ensemble albums of recent years.

    Anthony Braxton 12(+1)tet: 9 Compositions (Iridium) 2006 (Firehouse 12). Another important release, although I'm cheating a bit here: I haven't got the box itself, only downloaded the material from emusic. However, seeing the ensemble in Victoriaville this spring was one of my greatest musical experiences of the past year.

    Dennis Gonzalez NY Quartet: Dance Of The Soothsayer's Tongue (Clean Feed). Another recent emusic download. Clean Feed is certainly a label to follow closely: you turn around and they have four or five new releases, which all look excellent! Anyway, this one's another solid album for Mr. Gonzalez, with remarkable support from Eskelin, Helias and Thompson.

    Joe McPhee/Peter Brötzmann/Kent Kessler/Michael Zerang: Guts (Okkadisk). I bought this just a few days ago, but it's already pretty high on my favorites list, a very rewarding recording by four master improvisers.

    reissues, historical, etc.:

    Charles Mingus Sextet: At Cornell 1964 (Blue Note). Predictable choice, perhaps, but if anyone finds anything better than Clifford Jordan and Jaki Byard soloing on Take The 'A' Train on any CD released this year, I'd love to hear it!

    Andrew Hill: Compulsion (Blue Note) and Change (Blue Note). Andrew Hill's passing, just as his music seemed on the verge of greater recognition, was one of the past year's saddest events. These two reissues of formerly hard to find, adventurous Hill dates, feature some of the pianist's most stimulating recordings.

    Dewey Redman: The Struggle Continues (ECM). A very un-ECM sounding ECM, and a solid Redman date.

    Don Cherry: Live At Café Montmartre 1966 (ESP-Disk'). Anything by Cherry of this vintage is worth getting.

    Noah Howard: The Black Ark (Bo'Weavil). A lost free jazz classic.

    Steve Lacy/Roswell Rudd: Early & Late (Cuneiform). If the live material sounds rougher than their magnificent Monk's Dream, it's always a pleasure to hear those two playing together, and the rare 1962 tracks are a nice bonus.

    Alan Skidmore/Tony Oxley/Ali Haurand: S.O.H. Live In London (Jazzwerkstatt). Very coltranish indeed, but what a band!

    On the face of it, I haven't heard that many 2007 releases, so I look forward to your lists!
    http://jazzviking.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
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    Here is a list of some of my favorites from 2007:

    Bobby Hutcherson - For Sentimental Reasons
    Pat Metheny/Brad Mehldau - Quartet
    Paul Motian - Time and Time Again
    Maria Schneider Orchestra - Sky Blue
    Tord Gustavsen Trio - Being There
    Nguyen Le - Homescape
    Gerald Wilson - Monterey Moods
    Floratone (Bill Frisell and Matt Chamberlain)
    John Abercrombie - The Third Quartet
    Mate Katche - Playground
    Joe Locke - Sticks and Strings

    There's my list.

  5. #5
    wired for hound papsrus's Avatar
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    All righty. I think I'm happy with this list. I was determined to limit it to a top 10, just cause I wanted it to be cream-of-the-crop type stuff. I kind of surprised myself at some of the great albums that were left out.

    Anyways, my top 10 albums for 2007 (In order, as close as I can settle on it anyways)

    1. Terrence Blanchard -- "Requiem for Katrina - A Tale of God's Will"
    Soulful, haunting, beautiful. Album of the year for me.

    2. Fred Anderson, Hamid Drake -- "From the River to the Ocean"

    Adventurous? Yes. Accessible? I think so. The easy-swinging "Start Time" might satisfy the purest of the purists.

    3. Trio M -- "Big Picture"
    Pianist Myra Melford, bassist Mark Dresser and drummer Matt Wilson engage in a series of jotty, structured improvisations. Wilson is a must-hear.

    4. Erik Friedlander -- "Block Ice and Propane"

    The cellist goes mining for American motifs, and gives his pizzicato technique a workout in the process. The almost mystical sounds feel instantly familiar.

    5. William Parker -- "Alphaville Suite"
    The combination of a jazz quartet and a chamber string quartet results in a richly layered music. And they can swing when they want to.

    6. Ned Rothenberg -- "Inner Diaspora"

    Alto player and his trio, Sync, are joined by violinist Mark Feldman and cellist Erik Friedlander to traverse Middle Eastern and Mediterranean melodies and rhythms. Adventurous and sensitive statement of Jewish music.

    7. Jewels and Binoculars -- "Ships with Tattooed Sails"
    Third in a series of interpretations of Bob Dylan's music by this trio. The nooks and crannies of familiar melodies are explored with unabashed affection.

    8. SFJazz Collective -- "Live 2007, 4th Annual Concert Tour"

    Lively arrangements of Monk classics on Disc 1. It's good. Beautiful originals, lush and imaginative playing, great energy on Disc 2. It's outstanding. Admittedly, this is new to me, and that freshness may be swaying me. But there's some pretty inspired stuff here.

    9. Joshua Redman -- "Back East"
    The tenor tips his hat to a Sonny Rollins trio classic, "Way Out West," and along the way carves through a series of well-worn tunes ("Surrey With the Fringe on Top," Coltrane's "India") and beautiful originals.

    10. Dino Saluzzi and Anja Lechner -- "Ojos Negros"

    Is it jazz? Who cares. Lovely, often melancholy Argentine folk themes brought to life in a succession of cello-bandoneon duets. These two have a magical rapport.

    -------
    Best new issue of historic material:
    Tim Berne's Bloodcount -- "Seconds"

    --------
    Best box set:
    Anthony Braxton -- "9 Compositions (Iridium 2006)"


    That's it. What a year!
    "There comes a time in all of our lives where silence is a betrayal." -- The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  6. #6
    Miles and Beyond robmid's Avatar
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    Frankly, I was a little disappointed with the quantity of great CDs last year. I just counted about 80 CDs from 2006 that I purchased. In 2007 I've counted only about 50.

    Here are some I liked quite a bit that haven't been mentioned above (in no particular order).

    Noir - Anat Cohen

    Camp Meeting - Bruce Hornsby

    Beyond the Red Door - Bud Shank & Bill Mays

    The Lost Chords Find Paolo Fresu - Carla Bley

    Oceanos - David Binney and Edward Simon

    The Words and the Days - Enrico Rava

    Live at the Jazz Gallery - Jason Lindner

    Brown Street - Joe Zawinul

    Harbor - Joel Harrison

    Spark - Marty Ehrlich and Myra Melford

    Jazz - Wallace Roney

    Omer Avital - Arrival

    This Meets That - John Scofield

    Tangled Tango - Ethan Winogrand

    Big Picture - Trio M (Myra Melford)

    Cheers,
    RM

    I like what I like. Is that such a crime?
    Favorite Jazz Recordings - www.actionplan.com/jazz.html

  7. #7
    Registered User HutchFan's Avatar
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    I bought very few 2007 releases this year. But my faves were:
    - Bobby Hutcherson - For Sentimental Reasons
    - Steve Kuhn - Live at Birdland
    - Jason Lindner Big Band - Live at the Jazz Gallery
    Explore my web site dedicated to Bobby Hutcherson:
    http://www.musicweb-international.com/jazz/Hutcherson

  8. #8
    wired for hound papsrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by papsrus View Post
    -------
    Best new issue of historic material:
    Tim Berne's Bloodcount -- "Seconds"
    BTW, excellent overview of this one by WordsandSounds here.

    You can listen for yourself.
    "There comes a time in all of our lives where silence is a betrayal." -- The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  9. #9
    Registered User NewJazz4Mike's Avatar
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    It did seem to be a very solid year.... I could easily list 25 - 30 very strong releases. The usual suspects for me, plus some new surprises... Antonio Sanchez, for example, or a wonderful new release by a long time favorite, Jerry Bergonzi. The continuing development of a newer generation such as Donny McCaslin. Some of the best of this year didn't quite live up to my expectations however, since they're not quite on a par with the best by the respective artists (Michael Brecker, Maria Schneider, Joe Lovano) - nevertheless they are great recordings and among the best of the year. Others by established artists are gorgeous, beautiful, and inspiring, and among the finest of their careers (Joshua Redman, Keith Jarrett, Fred Hersch, Tom Harrell). TWO by Paul Motian, on different labels (I just wish Kikuchi would stfu!). I even have a couple of ECM releases by European artists on my list. This all amounts to hair-splitting; these are all really fine releases.... Long live jazz!!!

    In no particular order:

    Ralph Alessi - Look
    Stefano Battaglia - Re: Passolini
    Jerry Bergonzi - Tenorist
    Andy Bey - Ain't Necessarily So
    Dave Douglas - Live at the Jazz Standard
    Chris Potter - Follow The Red Line
    Michael Brecker - Pilgrimage
    Bill Charlap - Live at the Village Vanguard
    The Bad Plus - Prog
    Joshua Redman - Back East
    Donny McCaslin - In Pursuit
    Maria Schneider - Sky Blue
    Antonio Sanchez - Migration
    Fred Hersch - Night and the Music
    Keith Jarrett - My Foolish Heart - Live at Montreux
    Paul Motian - Time and Time Again
    Paul Motian - Live at the Village Vanguard
    Joe Lovano / Hank Jones - Kids - Live at Dizzy's
    Enrico Rava - The Words and the Days
    Tom Harrell - Light On
    Metheny/Mehldau - Quartet
    Kendra Shank - Spirit Free
    David Binney - Oceanos
    Chick Corea / Bela Fleck - The Enchantment
    Jason Lindner - Live at the Jazz Gallery
    Sam Yahel - Truth and Beauty

  10. #10
    Registered User agnon's Avatar
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    As usual, ending the year with plenty of discs I still hope to check out. Nice to read everyone's lists here, reminding me of some titles I still want to get, and some I've never even heard of.

    Out of about twenty-five or so new ones I heard this year, here's a handful I enjoyed the most:

    Fred Anderson & Hamid Drake, From the River to the Ocean
    Billy Fox, The Uncle Wiggly Suite
    William Parker, Corn Meal Dance
    Groundtruther (Charlie Hunter & Bobby Previte w/ John Medeski), Altitude
    Robert Glasper, In My Element
    Exploding Star Orchestra, We Are All from Somewhere Else

  11. #11
    Registered User NewJazz4Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmid View Post
    Frankly, I was a little disappointed with the quantity of great CDs last year. I just counted about 80 CDs from 2006 that I purchased. In 2007 I've counted only about 50.

    Here are some I liked quite a bit that haven't been mentioned above (in no particular order).

    Noir - Anat Cohen

    Camp Meeting - Bruce Hornsby

    Beyond the Red Door - Bud Shank & Bill Mays

    The Lost Chords Find Paolo Fresu - Carla Bley

    Oceanos - David Binney and Edward Simon

    The Words and the Days - Enrico Rava

    Live at the Jazz Gallery - Jason Lindner

    Brown Street - Joe Zawinul

    Harbor - Joel Harrison

    Spark - Marty Ehrlich and Myra Melford

    Jazz - Wallace Roney

    Cheers,
    I recently downloaded Zawinul's Brown Street from emusic. While I don't think I'd put it on my list of the year's best - it really is a very nice release. It's so not my usual style of jazz, electric keyboards and all - but I've been having a ball listening to it. I had it on in the kitchen Sunday and even my wife commented that it wasn't typical for me. Then we went into a history of Zawinul, played a little Cannonball, and then some Miles - IASW and BB. Even contrasted In a Silent Way from Miles to Zawinul's Brown Street. Showed my wife some of the liner notes in the Miles metal box sets and had a great morning. God, jazz is great!!!

  12. #12
    Miles and Beyond robmid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NewJazz4Mike View Post
    I recently downloaded Zawinul's Brown Street from emusic. While I don't think I'd put it on my list of the year's best - it really is a very nice release. It's so not my usual style of jazz, electric keyboards and all - but I've been having a ball listening to it. I had it on in the kitchen Sunday and even my wife commented that it wasn't typical for me. Then we went into a history of Zawinul, played a little Cannonball, and then some Miles - IASW and BB. Even contrasted In a Silent Way from Miles to Zawinul's Brown Street. Showed my wife some of the liner notes in the Miles metal box sets and had a great morning. God, jazz is great!!!
    Amen to that Mike!

    Cheers,
    RM

    I like what I like. Is that such a crime?
    Favorite Jazz Recordings - www.actionplan.com/jazz.html

  13. #13
    Visit The Latin Jazz Corner! Chip Boaz's Avatar
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    There has been some fantastic Latin Jazz this year. Just a few outstanding releases to get started while I work on my complete list:

    - Big Band Urban Folktales, Bobby Sanabria
    - Papa Mambo, The John Santos Quintet
    - In Case You Missed It, Marlon Simon and the Nagual Spirits
    - Con Alma, Mark Weinstein
    - Tambolero, Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars
    - Funk Tango, Paquito D'Rivera
    - From The Badlands, Papo Vazquez
    - Buenos Aires Standards, Pablo Aslan
    - For The Rest of Your Life, Chembo Corniel
    - A Genesis, Insight

    There's definitely a more complete list coming, but this highlights some of the incredible Latin Jazz from 2007.

    By the way, I'm hosting a Latin Jazz Best of 2007 award competition on my blog. You can come and vote on Album of the Year, Next Generation Artist, Pianist, Bassist, Percussionist, Drum Kit Player, Saxophone Player, Trumpet Player, Tromone Player, Flautist, and Vocalist. It's been getting a lot of participation and showing some interesting results. Please come by and vote!
    Chip Boaz
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    The Latin Jazz Corner
    Latin Jazz Blog that explores the intersection between jazz and Latin music!

  14. #14
    Registered User sgabor's Avatar
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  15. #15
    wonderful human being
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    My favorite was Mingus at Cornell, which technically is a new release, but my top 10 of new releases recorded recently are

    1. Fred Anderson/Hamid Drake--From the River To the Ocean
    2. Alvin Fielder Trio--A Measure Of Vison
    3. Tommy Koverhult Trio--From Trane To Taube
    4. David S Ware--Renunciation
    5. William Parker Raining On the Moon--Corn Meal Dance
    6. Dennis Gonzalez--Dance Of the Soothsayer's Tongue
    7. ZMF Trio--Circle The Path
    8. Luis Perdomo--Awareness
    9. Exploding Customer--At Your Service
    10.Thomas Marriott--Both Sides Of the Fence

    All are emusic downloads. Since this is the only way I get my music any more, I've missed out on some great albums, but I can't spend money the way I used to before my kids were born.

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