I figure it's due time for another one of these kinds of threads:
- What were your favorite new jazz albums of last year?
- Who's started to establish themselves as a top tier player?
- What couldn't you stop listening to? (new and old)
- What were some players that you got turned on to that you didn't know about until recently?
To me, Tim Miller has really come into his own as a player. To my knowledge he hasn't released any solo stuff since 2007, but I saw him play live 4-5 times last year and his melodicism and story telling abilities on the instrument have become fantastic, in addition to the killer chops and feel everyone knows he has. Also, Gilad Hekselman has became one of my favorites, seeing him play some great stuff with Ari Hoenig's band.
For albums, I've been digging Kurt's "Our Secret World" (it's quite a feat that a big band album with renditions of combo tunes doesn't sound stiff and stale), all things Kreisberg, (I think Night Songs came out last year, probably the best guitar ballad album I've heard), also I've been enjoying that Greg Osby/Nir Felder NPR broadcast from the Village Vanguard, available for a free download. (Nir's solo on Night and Day is one of the coolest jazz guitar solos I've ever heard)
I also started to get into Gary Versace's solo stuff last year, "Outside In" is one of my favorites.