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Jazdoc's Favorite 2015 Jazz Releases

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  • Jazdoc's Favorite 2015 Jazz Releases

    1) Kamasi Washington "The Epic"
    This should be a mess. It's three LP's worth of large scale modern improvisational music and the result is...well, epic. His take on the Ray Noble classic, "Cherokee" is worth the entire set. Probably the best release of 2015

    2) Bad Plus + Joshua Redman
    This is true sum of the parts CD...and the parts are very, very good. Really fun to hear how well Joshua Redman fits into the Bad Plus 'vibe'

    3) Vijay Iyer "Break Stuff: (ECM)
    Iyer seems incapable of making anything less than an excellent LP. Sonics definitely have the 'ECM house sound'

    4) Tootie Heath "Philadelphia Beat"
    Another in a run of excellent releases by a true master...with Ethan Iverson and Ben Street

    5) Matthew Shipp "To Duke"

    6) Terell Stafford "Brotherlee"
    Superb homage to Lee Morgan. Stafford rips thru fellow Philly trumpeter's songbook, retaining the style but making it his own.

    7) Rudresh Mahanthappa "Bird Calls"
    Rather than playing in the style Charlie Parker, Mahanthanppa deconstructs many of Bird's best tunes and reconstructs them in his own style. As always, the ACT vinyl is spectacular.

    8) Chris Potter Underground Orchestra "Imaginary Cities"
    Incorporating a string section, Potter's suite is some of the most evocative jazz of 2015.

    9) Jeremy Pelt "Tales, Musings & Other Reveries"
    Ron Carter helps make this one of Pelt's best CD's. "Einbahnstrasse" is a highlight.

    10) Ariel Pocock "Touchstone"
    Local product shines on her debut release. Her vocals are still maturing but she is already a deft pianist and has the potential to be a star.

    11) Brad Mehldau "10 Years Live - Solo"
    An inadvertant omission. My vinyl was a little noisy and probably better as a CD purchase. The music is incredible and Mehldau sets a new standard for the art of writing liner notes.
    Last edited by jazdoc; 03-02-2016, 02:18 PM.

  • #2
    Thanks Mark! The Iyer release hasn't been without controversy. Reviews have been all over the place on his new release.
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    • jazdoc
      jazdoc commented
      Editing a comment
      I can definitely see that. I was trying to allude that the 'ECM treatment' may not be optimal for the trio's percussive style of playing. By contrast, the ACT release "Accelerando" seems to play to the group's strengths...

  • #3
    The Kamasi Washington debut was probably my favorite release of 2015. Sonically its all over the map but the music has a nostalgic spiritual jazz magic to it. Saw him perform with his ensemble back in August. It was a white hot set.

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    • #4
      Yeah that Kamasi was a welcome return to the spiritual jazz of the 70s! We definitely need more of that...

      I played this one today, and got a swift kick out of it! Fantastic big band jazz, with gorgeous sonics. Demo disc material!

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