Monday December 19, 2011
From The Huffington Post
My Picks for the Best of Jazz 2011
By: Ralph A. Miriello
The year 2011 was an inspirational year. I was privileged to listen to, and in some cases experience “live,” some of the best and most varied musical performances that I have seen in many a year. With all the discussion of jazz dying and the graying and shrinking of the jazz audience, what I have personally witnessed is that this improvisational music that we paint with the expansive brush we call “jazz” is flourishing and experiencing a renaissance of creativity that is nothing short of breath-taking.
People love lists and fans often relish in picking their favorites. Often people revel in finding their choices being validated by inclusion in lists made by critics at the end of the year. But music is subjective and there will always be room for outliers in taste. I am going to list my picks for the best music I have heard this year, trying to be as inclusive as possible for the deserving music that has been created. I stress some very worthy albums will undoubtedly be missing from my list simply because I haven’t had the opportunity to listen to them, but of the many I have listened to these are some of my favorites.
At the wonderful Caramoor festival this year Joshua Redman’s new super group, which featured Aaron Parks on piano, Matt Penman on bass and the ubiquitous Eric Harland on drums, blew away the audience. There self titled album James Farm features original music composed by each of these talented players and is another must listen.
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