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2011: The Year in Gigs

Nate Chinen recalls his 10 favorite jazz performances of the past year

Steve Coleman
This column comes to you from a bittersweet place. It’s my fond custom, this time of year, to reflect on the many small miracles I’ve … Read More "2011: The Year in Gigs"
Craig Taborn
John Hollenbeck
Christian McBride performing with Chick Corea's Freedom Band at CareFusion Newport Jazz Festival 2010
Bill Frisell, Joe Lovano and Paul Motian
Geri Allen
Paul Motian

This column comes to you from a bittersweet place. It’s my fond custom, this time of year, to reflect on the many small miracles I’ve witnessed on one bandstand or another over the last 12 months. And I’ll get to that shortly; I am a professional, or so they tell me. But first, a moment of tribute to drummer-composer-bandleader Paul Motian, whose magically intuitive artistry has been a fixture of my jazzgoing life, at least since I moved to New York more than 13 years ago.

Motian, who died in November at 80, was a genius of sly eloquence and crooked rightness, always in pursuit of the unexpectedly perfect gesture. The stubborn candor he brought to his art was a reliable source of mystery and illumination.

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