[JPL] Top Jazz Picks Of 2011

Alphonse Mouzon amouzon at socal.rr.com
Thu Dec 15 00:30:47 EST 2011

Thanks Jae for having my "ANGEL FACE" CD listed #6 in your

Have a great weekend everyone and Happy Holidays!
Alphonse Mouzon
Tenacious Records

> From: Jae Sinnett - WHRV Radio <jaejazz at yahoo.com>
> Reply-To: <jazzproglist at jazzweek.com>
> Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2011 09:39:47 -0800 (PST)
> To: "jazzproglist at jazzweek.com" <jazzproglist at jazzweek.com>
> Subject: [JPL] Top Jazz Picks Of 2011
> Hi friends. It's that time of the year. Here are my top jazz picks for 2011.
> Difficult as always because we had another great year for quality jazz
> releases. My main point of focus in selecting my picks this year was
> composition. The writing and arranging. Of course the playing and production
> quality too but I was listening first for what I think is interesting and
> visionary...new composition.  The exceptions here were the Terell
> Stafford...with the music of Strayhorn and Randy Brecker's "Ballad Song Book."
> Superb performances on classic material.  I hope you enjoy these outstanding
> releases too. Thanks,
> 10. Terell Stafford - "This Side Of Strayhorn" - Max Jazz - One of the top
> trumpeters playing today. Such beautiful lyrical continuity with line
> construction. Strayhorn's music presents the artists with unique harmonic
> challenges. The writing is so perfectly constructed with logic and vision.
> Terell and band embrace the complexities of his music with passion, soul and
> fluency.
> 9. Randy Brecker with the DR Big Band - "The Jazz Ballad Song Book" - Red Dot
> Music - Speaking of great trumpeters...Randy Brecker is in a league of his
> own. Doesn't matter what's in front of him. The ultimate outcome will simply
> be...amazing music. He can play anything and make it live. Such beautiful
> technique and lyricism. When you play the standard book at this point there
> has to be fresh, meaningful interpretations. He succeeds.
> 8. Meddy Gerville - "Fo Kronm La Vi" - Muzik Export Association - Wow, for
> these flappers this guy came out of nowhere. The most impressive qualities
> here lie in his ability to merge concepts of world music and jazz.
> Rhythmically deep and complex but layered with harmonic and melodic beauty.
> 7. Josh Nelson - "Discoveries" - Steel Bird - Josh continues to grow as a
> pianist and certainly in composition and arranging. "Discoveries" reflects his
> embracing and searching of the fresh idea. Each composition has a hypnotic
> forward moving quality...paced beautifully and performed with outstanding
> musicianship. 
> 6. Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band - "That's How We Roll" - Telarc - Goodwin
> continues to modernize the large jazz ensemble. Unbelievably cohesive in
> organization and structure. The fundamentals are all here...breathing new life
> and meaning into the importance of textures, time, dynamic ranges and
> versatility.
> 5.Silvano Monasterios - "Unconditional" - Savant - Another newbie for me.
> Never heard of him until this recording. When I listen to "Unconditional" I'm
> reminded of how much incredible talent that's out there playing this music
> that so few have heard. Silvano brings deeply intricate and thought provoking
> mastery to his compositions. Perfectly balanced with compositional and
> improvisational concepts.
> 4. New Gary Burton Quartet - "Common Ground" - Mack Avenue - The premier four
> mallet vibraphonist playing. Gary continues to redefine himself and
> understands the importance of incorporating and embracing young talent energy
> and ideas. It's easy to play this music for 45-50 years and get complacent.
> Not Gary Burton and this simply reveals his onward passion and love for
> making wonderfully interesting music. 
> 3. Jonathan Kreisberg - "Shadowless" - NFN New For Now Music - One of the
> great guitarist playing jazz today...in any generation. Flawless technique but
> applied with feeling and elasticity. His line construction is a thing of
> beauty but his writing...wow. Intense and subtle...at the same time...if
> that's possible. The band weaves through these compositions with on point
> dexterity and cohesiveness. Some serious time was put into the creation of
> this music. It lives with you.
> 2. Tito Carrillo - "Opening Statement" - Origin - What an "Opening Statement."
> When I listen to this music I feel the musicians clearly get to the artistic
> intentions of the composer. In my view that's one of the most challenging
> things that confronts the jazz/improvising musician..plus how to leave no
> question of what could I have done differently and getting the hands to
> articulate what's in the head. When the musician can get there the music is
> seamless. It takes on a life of it's own...organic. They've succeeded.
> Vince Mendoza - "Nights On Earth" - Horizontal - My top pick of 2011. I won't
> call these songs or compositions. I'll call them...stories. Each song
> completes it's compositional purpose tells the story. Such incredible imagery,
> vision and lyrical mastery.  Breathtakingly beautiful. Sometimes
> introspective...sometimes haunting but "Nights" reflects musical romance at
> it's best. Mendoza's heart is so full of love and passion and his music
> clearly shows us the gentleness of his soul. I'm humbled when I listen to
> melodic beauty written and played like this. I wish I could sing because I
> want to sing everyone of these stories. I hear so many inspiring things in
> this music but one certainly sticks out....lets not forget the significance of
> melody. 
> Honorable Mention
> Pilc, Moutin, Hoenig - "Threedom" - Motema  
> Ted Rosenthal Trio - "Out Of This World" - Playscale Productions
> John Scofield - "A Moment's Peace" - Emarcy
> Christian McBride Big Band - "The Good Feeling" - Mack Avenue
> Yellowjackets - "Timeline" Mack Avenue
> Alphonse Mouzon - "Angel Face" - Tenacious
> Warren Wolf - "Warren Wolf" Mack Avenue
> Stefon Harris, David Sanchez, Christian Scott - "Ninety Miles" - Concord
> Malika Zarra - "Berber Taxi" - Motema
> The H2 Big Band - "You're It" - Jazzed Media      

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