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Top Jazz CDs of 2009

Scott Williams "sneakyneighborsdog"
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."
Infernal Machines
Infernal Machines
"Wow what a debut album by Darcy James Argue.  Great Modern Big Band.  One of the best jazz CDs in years."
Spirit Moves
Spirit Moves
"Douglas shows how beautiful harmony can be with his killer brass band, Brass Ecstasy"
Prana Dance
Prana Dance
"Mellow, reflective, crafted songs.  Harrell has a great tone on this trumpet.  Killer band featuring Danny Grisset on piano."
Things to Come
Things to Come
"Rez Abassi, Rudresh Mahanthapp, and Vijay Iyer, together for the first time!"
Declaration
Declaration
"Top sax solist, McCaslin is joined by an all star cast featuring Ben Monder on guitar, Scott Colley on bass, and Antonio Sanchez on drums"
Disfarmer
Disfarmer
"This percussionless quartet has created an ambient, folkish exploration of Appalacia circa 1930.  Once again, Frisell teams up with slide guitarist Greg Leisz"
New Ground
New Ground
"A great bassist and songwriter's stellar debut album"
Historicity
Historicity
"Something completely differerent from Vijay.  Trio album with a completely different feel from previous albums."
Throw Down Your Heart, Tales from the Acoustic Planet, Vol. 3: Africa Sessions
Throw Down Your Heart, Tales from the Acoustic Planet, Vol. 3: Africa Sessions
"Bela Fleck with an all star cast of musicians from across Africa."
Ultrahang
Ultrahang
"Chris Potter's underground band featuring Craig Taborn on Fendor Rhodes, Adam Rogers on guitar and Nate Smith on drums.  I think this is the best performance from this group yet."
Third Occasion
Third Occasion
"Master of of the epic theme, Binney returns with an all star cast featuring Craig Taborn on piano, Scott Colley on bass, and Brian Blade on drums."
The Bright Mississippi
The Bright Mississippi
"Mellow New Orleans jazz w/ Don Byron, Nicholas Payton, Marc Ribot, David Piltch, and Jay Bellerose."
Form
Form
"sextet includes trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and Seamus Blake.  The top pianist of tomorrow."
Apti
Apti
"Rudresh's Indo-Pak trio featuring Rez Abassi on guitar and Dan Weiss on tabla & drums"
Human Activity Suite
Human Activity Suite
"Post Bop Jazz with world influences.  Great band.  Ralph Alessi (trumpet), Drew Gress (b), Tom Rainey (drums), and Gary Versace (organ/accordian) join guitarist Shepik."
Jungle
Jungle
"Japanese big band plays some killer afro cuban music"
Modular Theater
Modular Theater
"avante jazz with poetic vocals"
A Single Sky
A Single Sky
"Dave Douglas' first big band project."
For All I Care
For All I Care
"The Bad Plus + Singer Wendy Lewis Cover some all time classics (Litium - Nirvana, Baracuda - Heart, Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd, Long Distance Runaround - Yes"
Eternal Interlude
Eternal Interlude
"The best modern big band composer does it again."
Poesia
Poesia
"Edward Simon, is a popular sideman these days and appears on several of the CDs on this list.  In Poesia he leads a traditional piano trio."
Watts
Watts
"Quartet of legends (Watts (d), T. Blanchard (t), B. Marsalis (s), C. McBride (b) play post bop."
Urban Myths
Urban Myths
"Harrison is joined by Dave Binney on this jazz fusion release"
Generations
Generations
"Guitarist Okazaki performs a cerebral suite with Dave Binney, Miguel Zenon, Dan Weiss & more."
A Dream I Used to Remember
A Dream I Used to Remember
"Opsvik and Jennings follow up their last album Commuter Anthems with another piece of post modern mood work."
Kind of Brown
Kind of Brown
"The piano, bass (McBride), and drums are super tight on this straight forward Post Bop recording."
Urbanus
Urbanus
"The title is perfect.  This is very modern and urban sounding jazz.  The vocoder kind of takes you back the 70's and doesn't really fit the modern vibe, but other than that this recording is killer."