Each year my "Top 10" list is a continual work in progress. From January to December I acquire a great deal of music but there are certain recordings that grab and hold my attention right from the get-go more than others.
I've long been a fan of trumpeter Dave Douglas and his many ensembles so when I heard that he was releasing another recording by his quintet in April I was elated. Although their last few recordings were fantastic, upon initial listening I wasn't moved by Meaning and Mystery (Greenleaf Music). So, the recording got filed away with so many others from the year that, while enjoyable, I didn't find myself coming back to on a regular basis.
Fast forward to December - Douglas and the Quintet documented a full week of live performances at NYC's Jazz Standard and made the recordings available to the public the very next day on his own Greenleaf Music website. I checked out some of this music and really liked what I heard. This made me go back and reexamine not only the new recording but all of the quintet's releases.
I'm not sure what I was thinking the first time around but Meaning and Mystery is a great album!!! Hearing these compositions in a live setting made me enjoy the studio documentation a little more and I'm really digging Donny McCaslin's sax work. Chris Potter's are some pretty big shoes to fill and McCaslin has done a great job stepping in and bringing his unique approach to improvisation to Douglas' music.
So, add another record to my Top 10, er, 11 of 2006.