The list author says: "2009 seemed to be the year of the brass band and the big band. Dave Douglas, Donny McCaslin, and Dave Binney all incorporated brass bands into their 2009 albums. John Hollenbeck released another modern big band CD this year, and Dave Douglas released his first big band CD. The best album of the year was a big band CD by Darcy James Argue. The South Asian all stars, Vijay Iyer, Rudresh Mahanthappa Rez Abassi continue to amaze and appear on an album together for the first time. Modern stars Dave Binney, Donny McCaslin, Craig Taborn, and Scott Colley continue to shine. Finally Bela Fleck has re-emerged as a jazz star, follwing up his stellar work on McCoy Tyner's 2008 release Guitars, with a heart warming collaboration with musicians across Africa.
My vote for musician of the year is pianist Danny Grissett. Grissett appears on 3 of the albums in this list, Prana Dance, New Ground, and his own release, Form. He also appears Jeremy Pelt's January 2010 release Men of Honor, which is sure to be in my list of top CDs of 2010. In 2009 Grissett made a strong case he is one of the top modern jazz pianists."