January 7, 2003


Best Jazz CDs of 2002: Everything That Rises Must Converge (Gary Giddins, January 6th, 2003, Village Voice)
As the wheels of capital grind remorselessly to the tune of impossible profit projections, jazz grows increasingly irrelevant to the dominant record labels. Atlantic vanished; Columbia recycled Miles; Concord Jazz did singers; BMG and Warners hardly mattered; and even Verve tightened the noose. Blue Note kept the faith, revived by the improbable triumph of Norah Jones in a nonjazz setting. Yet good jazz records proliferated, some better than good, and often on labels like Palmetto, Justin Time, Pi, Aum Fidelity, and others yet more obscure. Something like consensus coalesced around half a dozen titles. One dares to imagine the divided jazz tribes rising above ever thinner layers of air to converge. For example, if the audience for Bob's Pink Cadillac were also to buy The Music of Bob Haggart, and vice versa, two little tribes might surprise themselves and turn into one with box-office clout. So let me dream, albeit alphabetically. Five entries, however, are asterisked: CDs that, like it or not, you must hear.

The Arthur Blythe and Matthew Shipp discs look especially intriguing. Posted by Orrin Judd at January 7, 2003 3:10 PM

I've only heard a few of the things on his list, but the Charlap disc is great. In addition to the Arthur Blythe that looks good to Orrin, I also plan to order the Wayne Shorter and Cecil Taylor CD's. I've already got the Jason Moran, but haven't been ready to try it yet (read the review again). Finally, an excellent 2003 release not on Giddins' list is Branford Marsalis' FourFathers, which pays tribute through extended works of Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane (A Love Supreme) and John Lewis.

Posted by: Foos at January 7, 2003 10:49 PM
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