An Arbitrary Period of Time in Review

A better title for our year-in-review section, which includes critics and readers’ poll picks, is “events and CDs that we happened to remember that occurred within the last year or so.” Not so catchy, but a more accurate heading, since a few albums in our readers and critics’ polls were released before our wiggly year-in-review time frame, approximately Nov. ’99 to Nov. ’00. I, like Max Roach, don’t have a problem stretching time, and neither should you (i.e., no letters, please, re: when a CD actually came out).

Here are my year-end picks, or jazz albums that grabbed my attention away from the other 300 plus CDs we receive in the office every month. Unlike our critics, who were limited to five albums, one reissue and one box set, I’m invoking my right as editor (and indecisive music omnivore) to select just a few more.

Favorite Albums, or Those That Were Played Multiple Times and With Great Enjoyment Despite the Stack of CDs I Should Be Listening to in Order to Properly and Evenhandedly Assign Stories for a Major Music Magazine:

James Carter: Chasin’ the Gypsy (Atlantic)

Marc Cary: Trillium (Jazzateria)

Myra Melford’s Crush: Dance Beyond the Color (Arabesque)

Ben Monder: Excavation (Arabesque)

Jason Moran: Facing Left (Blue Note)

Greg Osby: The Invisible Hand (Blue Note)

William Parker: Painter’s Spring (Thirsty Ear)

Matthew Shipp: Pastoral Composure (Thirsty Ear)

Cuong Vu: Bound (OmniTone)

David S. Ware: Surrendered (Columbia)

Reissues of the Year or CDs That I Spent $50 a Pop on 10 Years Ago When They Came Out in Japan:

Miles Davis: On the Corner; Get Up With It; Big Fun (Columbia/Legacy)

Box Set of the Year That Did What I Wish More Box Sets Would Do (Namely, Reveal a Somewhat Forgotten Artist to Be a Jazz Giant Through His Original Albums Rather Than Be a Numbing Collection of Outtakes Interspersed With Master Takes, Rather Than on a Separate CD or Tacked On at the End, Thereby Ruining the Original Mood and Running Order of the Original Album):

The Complete Blue Note Horace Parlan Sessions (Mosaic)

So-Obvious-How-Can-You-Not-Mention-Them Box Sets of the Year:

Miles Davis and John Coltrane The Complete Columbia Recordings 1955-1961 (Columbia/Legacy); Charlie Parker The Complete Savoy and Dial Studio Recordings 1944-1948 (Savoy); Louis Armstrong The Complete Hot Five and Seven Recordings (Columbia/Legacy)

Originally published in January/February 2001

Add a Comment

You need to log in to comment on this article. No account? No problem!