Top 10 Seattle Jazz CD’s of 2009

by Jason on December 10, 2009 · 7 comments

in Bands, Music

top10The year-end lists are flooding in, and the jazz blogosphere is replete with best-of’s. I thought I would put my own spin on it and put the spotlight on the amazing jazz talent we have right here in the Emerald City. So I spent the better part of my birthday researching and compiling this list.

With that I give you my Top 10 Seattle Jazz CD’s of 2009. I’m sure there’s one or two I’ve forgotten, so please feel free to add yours in the comments section. I reserve the right to amend this list as I’m reminded of the other great CD’s that came out of Seattle this year.

Here they are, in no particular order:

Thomas MarriottFlexicon – Origin Records
Thomas Marriott is one of the most exciting young trumpet players around, and we’re lucky that he’s chosen to stay in Seattle. After touring with Maynard Ferguson and living in New York for a few years he came back to his home town and has been tearing it up! His latest CD features many of Seattle’s heaviest jazz cats, and a special appearance by vibist Joe Locke, who Thomas has played with for a few years now. The music is exciting and fresh. Of note are two original compositions, “Little Frances” (written for his daughter) and “Detour Ahead”.
Purchase this CD here.

“Little Frances”:

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Andrew Boscardin’s Nickel & Brass SeptetFour-Color Heroes! – Boscology
Guitarist and composer Andrew Boscardin assembled an amazing array of talented Seattle musicians for his Nickel & Brass Septet. The songs on “Four-Color Heroes!” are dedicated to, and take inspiration from, artists and writers of comic books from the 1960ʼs and 1970ʼs. But this is no gimmicky concept album. Instead, it’s a glimpse inside the mind of a wildly creative writer who takes his inspirations and molds them into sinewy compositions that twist and turn and leave plenty of room for blowing by his A-list band. This is great large-ensemble modern jazz.
Purchase this CD here.

“Professor Kubert”:

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The TeachingThe Teaching – The Teaching Music
The Teaching is a trio consisting of Josh Rawlings on keys, Evan Flory-Barnes on bass and Jeremy Jones on drums. These three young, forward-thinking musicians are pushing the boundaries of jazz music and focusing on collective improvisation. The music weaves seamlessly through a myriad of feels – boom-bap hip-hop grooves, explosive swing, emotion-laden rock, “fat-man” blues, samba, drum ‘n bass, meditative chanting, and so on. But it’s the deep connection and communication between the three that makes their music so powerful. DISCLAIMER: Josh and Evan are in my band, and I play with Jeremy all the time. But I would love this group nonetheless!
Purchase this CD here

“The Teaching”:

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Chad McCulloughDark Wood, Dark Water – Origin Records
Chad is an amazingly good trumpet player, but he lets his compositions do the talking more than his chops on his debut album. This is a good thing! It’s nice to see the younger generation using their technique in service of their musicality. His tunes are always interesting and his band plays just beautifully throughout.
Purchase this CD here

“Lock Down”:

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The Here and Now QuintetBreak of Day – OA2 Records
The Here and Now Quintet consists of young Seattle cats who have been playing together since high-school. They’ve since scattered to all points of the globe to continue their studies, but come together regularly to play and record. This record documents many fine compositions by the front line of trumpeter Tatum Greenblatt and saxophonist Ben Roseth, including “Mance’s Dance”, which I recorded on my latest CD!
Purchase this CD here

“Walking Up Broadway”:

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Bill Anschell & Brent JensenWe Couldn’t Agree More – Origin Records
Pianist Anschell and saxophonist Jensen recorded this CD in the living room of a friend, with no rehearsals or pre-conceived notions at all. They each called tunes they loved and just played them down. And the interplay is remarkable! This is a high-level course in duo playing and shows each man to have huge ears and incredible sensitivity. I continue to be blown away by this music, which has been in my high rotation ever since I got it.
Purchase this CD here

“I’m Old Fashioned”:

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McTuff Vol 1 - CD_CoverMcTuffMcTuff, Volume 1 – Joe Doria Music
McTuff began as an homage to the great organ bands of Jimmy Smith and Captain Jack McDuff. But they soon found their own voice and their own place in the history of jazz organ combos. Led by Hammond B3 master Joe Doria and featuring Northwest legends Skerik on sax, Andy Coe on guitar and D’Vonne Lewis on drums, this band plays some of the funkiest jazz around! Each man is a master musician and supreme communicator on his instrument and the sum total is a thrilling ride. DISCLAIMER: D’Vonne is the drummer in my quartet…
Purchase this CD here

“Peanut”:

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HardcoretetExperiments in Vibe – Hardcoretet Music
Hardcoretet is a group of young musicians who studied music in the great programs at the University of Washington and Cornish College of the Arts. These cats can flat-out play! What’s great about their debut album is that even though they are playing some pretty high-level music they never sacrifice the groove. This is why their shows are filled with people dancing…imagine that! All of the members are composers and their original music is first rate.
Purchase this CD here

“That’s My Question”:

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Reservoir Cats – The Spirit of Mingus – Lucid Live Records
Reservoir Cats is a super-group of musicians from the “New Seattle” movement. They have teamed up with Lucid Jazz Lounge to put on tribute nights. So far they’ve paid their respects to Art Blakey, Radiohead and Charles Mingus. The Mingus night was the first, and the live recording made that night captures the spirit of both the band and the man they were honoring. Along with three signature Mingus tunes, the CD also features a composition each from bassist Evan Flory-Barnes and trumpeter Ahamefule J. Oluo. Check it out!
Purchase this CD here

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No More, No LessJason Parker QuartetNo More, No Less – Broken Time Records
I realize that putting myself on my own list is the height of narcissism. But it’s my list, dammit! Plus, it’s my birthday. ‘Nuff said.
Purchase this CD here

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I want to point out I purchased each and every one of these CD’s. None were sent to me free of charge and I was happy to give my support to these great musicians. I hope you’ll consider doing the same.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Bruce December 10, 2009 at 12:17 pm

Thanks Jason – fine list representing some of Seattle’s very best jazz players and their music. There are a few on the list I’ll have to dive into.

If I may, I’d like to throw in a wild card – another musician whose 2009 output is well worth checking out: Saxophonist Mark Taylor’s “Spectre”.

Cheers

Brian December 10, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Happy Birthday!

Jason
Twitter: 1WorkinMusician
December 11, 2009 at 8:23 pm

Thanks Bruce. Mark’s CD got by me, but I’m going to check it out now. Also just got Tim Kennedy’s new group Gravity’s CD. Very funky and cool. May have to add it to the list…

Kai
Twitter: fruehlingstag
December 13, 2009 at 10:30 am

Did the Tiptons Sax Quartet produce anything in 2009? Last thing I noticed was “Laws of Motian”, but that was from last year. Anyway, if they did release something in 2009, I’m almost certain it should be on the list…

James Calore January 1, 2010 at 6:56 am

Always looking for new trumpet jazz. Thanks, many fine CDs on this list. Happy new year, Jason!

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