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Top 10 Jazz Releases, January 2014

by Seth Colter Walls

Top 10 Jazz Releases, January 2014


You may have caught up with our Top 25 Jazz Albums of 2013, but that doesn't mean you heard all the excellent music from the genre that was released during the year. (But if you did, congrats!) Our January mix incorporates some albums that just missed our December list, as well as titles that were released too late in the calendar year to get a sufficient number of hearings around the jazz office. And we even have a newly unearthed Thelonious Monk session to investigate (just check the pianist's interplay with Philly Joe Jones on "Nutty"). Come join us!

Ahmad Jamal's album Saturday Morning doesn't break a ton of new ground, but it does show the legendary pianist in sprightly, entertaining form (quoting, for example, "Things Ain't What They Used to Be" during "Back to the Future"). Avant-garde bassist William Parker's end-of-year statement, a box of recordings called Wood Flute Songs, features a number of key recent live sets, with titles like Light Cottage Draped in a Curtain of Blues and Kalaparusha on the Edge of the Horizon.

Taylor Ho Bynum -- a key 21st-century collaborator of Anthony Braxton's -- put out his own multi-disc statement toward the end of 2013. Titled Navigation, it's a "modular composition" (which means its suite-like parts can be played by the ensemble in any order). And just for those folks who might have missed our 2013 best-of mix, we're putting two albums from that collection in this month's mix. Both Wadada Leo Smith's subtle duo session with pianist Angelica Sanchez, Twine Forest, and Jamie Baum's swinging world-fusion parade In This Life are too good to be ignored just because we've rolled over into 2014. So click play, and enjoy!

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