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10 very good off-the-beaten-path contemporary jazz albums

J. Cantor "jbcinnyc"
The list author says: "This is a selection of largely straight ahead jazz from the 21st century (with the exception of Hef's Favorites, which was released in 2006, but contains music released between 1945 and 2002)."
Monk's Casino: The Complete Works of Thelonious Monk
Monk's Casino: The Complete Works of Thelonious Monk
"An exhilirating breakneck traversal of all 72 of Thelonious Monk's compostions in slightly over 3 hours by one of the kings of the avant garde and 3 of his compatriots (Axel Dorner- trumpet; Rudi Mahall- bass clarinet; Jan Roder- bass; Uli Jennessen- drums). This is a relatively straight-ahead take on Monk (for von Schlippenbach anyway), but it's full of wit, energy, and invention."
Ships With Tattooed Sails
Ships With Tattooed Sails
"A third set of Dylan covers from Jewels and Binoculars, with guest appearances by Bill Frisell. This is not another Dylan covers cash in - these are great performances by exceedingly talented musicians. They do what covers should do and bring fresh perspective to the music."
Yo! Bobby
Yo! Bobby
"A great set of covers of the Bobby Darin repertoire by these largely Israeli New Yorkers. This is as engaging and exciting as Darin's best pop music. Go to anzicrecords.com to hear extensive samples."
Ballads: Remembering John Coltrane
Ballads: Remembering John Coltrane
"Superb album of Coltrane covers by this inexplicably overlooked singer. Should not be missed."
With Love
With Love
"Smoking big band album with just enough avant spice from this long time Andrew Hill collaborator."
In My Time
In My Time
"Another terrific big band session from this adventurous West Coast octagenarian."
Litania Sibilante
Litania Sibilante
"A weird and wild big band album from a who's who of Italian jazz musicians. Not for the avant-garde-intolerant. Well worth seeking out."
Live at Tonic
Live at Tonic
"This 3 CD set could have used a little editing, but it's chock full of storming 21st century funk jazz (or is it jazz funk?). At the price of a single CD, you can indulge McBride and friends' over inclusive enthusiasm. Guests include Charlie Hunter, Jason Moran, Jenny Scheinman, and DJ Logic."
Outhipped
Outhipped
"An imaginative and very funky hammond B-3 session from this underrated German artist."
Hef's Favorites
Hef's Favorites
"Whatever you think of Hef, you can't fault his choice of tracks here. What surprises is the emotional complexity and sophistication of the material and the chosen performances. This is not background music for sleazy lotharios. Maybe he's a sensitive guy after all."