Better late than never, here are ten of my favorite jazz recordings as well as five of my favorite non-jazz records from 2008 ...
1) AARON PARKS - Invisible Cinema (Blue Note)
Terence Blanchard's former pianist creates a varied instrumental soundtrack to an untold story.
2) BRIAN BLADE FELLOWSHIP - Season Of Changes (Verve)
After an eight year hiatus the Fellowship returns with another collection of songs that transverse music genres with ease.
3) JOHN ELLIS & DOUBLE WIDE - Dance Like There's No Tomorrow (Hyena)
Ellis' inventive writing and saxophone playing backed by organ, drums and ... sousaphone!
4) BEN ALLISON & MAN SIZE SAFE - Little Things Run The World (Palmetto)
The bassist's new quintet performs his signature blend of jazz/folk/rock on seven originals and a cover of John Lennon's "Jealous Guy."
5) MIKE MORENO - Third Wish (Criss Cross)
A studio snapshot of originals and jazz standards by the likes of Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson and Billy Strayhorn.
6) MATHIAS EICK - The Door (ECM)
Incredibly atmospheric ECM debut from trumpet player previously heard on recordings by Jacob Young and Manu Katche.
7) MARCIN WASILEWSKI TRIO - January (ECM)
Impeccably recorded mix of originals and compositions by Gary Peacock, Ennio Morricone, Tomasz Stanko, Carla Bley and Prince.
8) LAGE LUND - Early Songs (Criss Cross)
Modern jazz originals played by top notch musicians.
9) DAVE DOUGLAS & KEYSTONE - Moonshine (Greenleaf)
The evolution of the trumpeter's electric band continues.
10) LEONARDO CIOGLIA - Contos (Quizamba)
Intriguing set of originals performed by the bassist and John Ellis, Mike Moreno, Stefon Marris, Aaron Goldberg and Antonio Sanchez.
Contrary to popular belief, I do listen to quite a bit of music that isn't jazz. Here are five records that caught my ear in 2008 ...
1. COLDPLAY - Viva la Vida (EMI)
If it were possible to wear out mp3s, I'd be looking for another copy of this.
2. Q-TIP - The Renaissance (Motown)
This became my gym soundtrack for about three months straight.
3. DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE - Narrow Stairs (Atlantic)
Not as good as Plans to my ears, but a solid record nonetheless.
4. METALLICA - Death Magnetic (E/M Ventures)
This brought me back to freshmen year of high school.
5. MATTHEW LOIACONO - Kentucky (Collar City Records)
Solid set of original tunes performed on mandolin from the original BPQ drummer!