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jazzfan's picture
Last seen: 4 years 2 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 8:55am
Favorite Jazz Releases of 2005

As promised here's my list of my favorite jazz release of 2005.

I've grouped them into two catagories, New Releases and Newly Discovered or Released Material.

In the Newly Discovered or Released Material catagory and 2005 was a big year for this catagory:

One Down, One Up - Live At The Half Note - The John Coltrane Quartet

Impulse. Recorded back in 1965 for an FM broadcast these shows have long been foder for bootleggers. My only complaint is the high price and short length of the release, the bootlegs indicate that more useable material from these dates exists. Impulse does get high marks for cleaning up the sound.

Town Hall, New York City, June 22, 1945 - Dizzy Gillespie - Charlie Parker

Uptown Records. This, along with the following CD, may be the find of the decade. A must have. And it sounds surprisingly good.

Thelonious Monk Quartet With John Coltrane At Carnegie Hall

Blue Note Recorded in 1957, this along with the release above is a must have.

The Cellar Door Sessions - Miles Davis

Columbia Recorded at a Washington, D.C. nightclub back in 1970 by the second version of Miles electric band, this six CD set finally releases all the music recorded for the "Live Evil" record. Not for the faint of heart.

New Releases Catagory:

Gold Sounds - James Carter, Cyrus Chestnut, Ali Jackson, Reginald Veal Brown Brothers If you've been hanging around this forum awhile you've read Wes and I raving about this CD. If not, go back and check out the Gold Sounds thread. This may be my number one jazz disc of 2005.

Not In Our Name - Charlie Haden and Liberation Music Orchestra Verve It may take ten years for Charlie Haden and Carla Bley to get back together and put out another Liberation Music Orchestra record but it always worth the wait. Another winner from jazz's best protest group.

Upriver - Yo Miles! Cuneiform Records This double CD is the third release by this Henry Kaiser/Leo Smith co-led ensemble dedicated to the music of electric Miles Davis. And it's a hybrid SACD to boot. Much more uptempo than the second release which is nice return to form.

Radiance - Keith Jarrett ECM A double CD of live solo piano by the modern master of the form. Truly a wonder and the goat belches are kept to a minimum.

African Flashback - Romano Sclavis Texier Label Bleu The third release by this great trio which is completely unknown outside of Europe. Actually they are a quartet, with the fourth member being the French photographer Guy Le Querec (who is listed as playing "Leica") and each release comes with a booklet of his photographs. The music ain't too bad either.

The Color of Memory - The Vandermark 5 Atavistic Once, if not twice, a year Ken Vandermark and his band release a new CD and more often than not it makes many top ten lists. 2005 was no exception. Also of note was the 12 disc set "Alchimia" recorded live in Poland and released on the Not Two label. Recommended for completists only.

I'm quite sure that I've missed or forgotten many good releases, in fact I've only just picked up the new Brad Mehldau "Day Is Done" and even after one hearing I can tell that it's a winner, so please add to and comment on the list.

jazzfan's picture
Last seen: 4 years 2 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 8:55am
Re: Favorite Jazz Releases of 2005

As I stated at the close of my previous post, I did indeed miss at least one release worth noting.

Live In The World - David S. Ware Quartet Thirsty Ear. This three disc set recorded live in Europe in 1998 and 2003 is really the trio of David S. Ware on tenor sax, Matthew Shipp on piano and William Parker on bass with the drum chair filled by Susie Iberra, Guillermo E. Brown and Hamid Drake on respective discs. While Iberra and Brown have both been regular drummers in Ware's working quartet, this release is the first to feature Chicago's great Humid Drake and the Parker/Drake bass/drum tandem again proves itself to be among the great free propulsion units of all time. Through the three discs, Shipp and Ware both make good use of the extended solo time and space. The sound quality does tend to vary from passable to first rate but overall the set is fairly priced and has plenty to offer.

Jeff Wong
Jeff Wong's picture
Last seen: 12 years 2 months ago
Joined: Sep 6 2005 - 3:28am
Re: Favorite Jazz Releases of 2005

I picked up the Coltrane Half Note and Carnegie Hall releases within a day of release and endorse jazzfan's recommendation of them. ODOU, on the Half Note set, is a tour de force (despite the handful of tape dropouts) and I can't even imagine what it must've been like to witness this 27 minute solo in person. I feel privileged to experience it at all.

While I bought a number of jazz releases in 2005, only a few were actually released in 2005. I can marginally recommend two 2005 CDs:

Coltrane's The Bethlehem Years 2 disc set. The music is fun, but, by no means challenging and hearing the previously unreleased alternate takes documented on Disc 2 is a treat.

Sonny Rollins - The 9/11 Concert - It's not a sonic eargasm, but, hey... it's Sonny Rollins.

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