Tuesday, 8 January 2008

CDs of the year...2006


Right, after waffling on recently about how Greg Osby's Channel Three ended up in both my top 10 from 2005 and 2006, it seems like a good idea to look at the rest of the '06 contenders.

Taking at face value my statement that this list is in no particular order (absolute rubbish, as Thomas Chapin is not at the top by coincidence!!), I can even rest a little easier about my embarrassing oversight. It might be a little harder to rest easier about any top 10 which includes a CD by Christian McBride, but this surprising set of jam-band style material was a big hit with me. more fun than the Luther Vandross covers, eh Christian?

Andrew Hill left us shortly after this list was published, and anybody who has read the latest issue of the magazine will see that I made his classic album Compulsion my re-issue of the year for 2007. Jazz doesn't get much more vital than that, and in hindsight I think I was definitely wrong to exclude the enigmatic Time Lines...

TOP CDs 2006

New Releases:
Thomas Chapin/Ride (Playscape)
Terje Rypdal/Vossabrygg (ECM)
Greg Osby/Channel Three (Blue Note)
Christian Scott/Rewind That (Concord)
Bennie Maupin/Penumbra (Cryptogramophone)
Calvin Keys/Vertical Clearance (Wide Hive)
Vijay Iyer/Blood Sutra (PI)
Christian McBride/Live At Tonic (Ropeadope)
Nels Cline/New Monastery (Cryptogramophone)
Jerry Bergonzi/Tenor of the Times (Savant)

Reissue:
Grant Green/Live At Club Mozambique (Blue Note)

I thought this may be a struggle, but looking back at the small percentage of the total new releases from 2006 that I’ve actually heard, the list pretty much chose itself. As is always the case for me, listenability comes before any judgements about whether or not a work is ‘important’ or otherwise significant, hence my determination to speak up for Grant Green’s much maligned gem. By the same token, Nels Cline’s take on Andrew Hill beat Hill’s own impressive ‘Time Lines’ into the list (welcome back Charles Tolliver...). Not necessarily in any particular order, my top 10 gives a good indication both of where I’m at, and in a wider sense where jazz is at currently. All in all, pretty healthy I’d say!

Fred Grand

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