Yeah, there’s no way you’re going to get a list out of me. So here’s the list compiled by Ottawa Citizen reporter, and indefatigable jazz blogger, Peter Hum. None of these choices seem ridiculous to me, and I heartily endorse Peter’s first and fifth picks. Number four is certainly superior to most of Brad Mehldau’s output over the past decade (I’d have preferred his solo outing from Tokyo; I came to regard his first drummer as a pest and I’m still not sure his own trio is the best place to hear Mehldau) and I haven’t heard all of number 10, but I presume it’s at least comparable to Jarrett’s stunning recent performances from Tokyo and Carnegie.
UPDATE: Okay, two addenda. (Is addenda a word?) First, of all the wonderful sessions from Joe Lovano over the past 25 years, this live nonet session from the Village Vanguard is easily my favourite. Career-best performances from drummer Lewis Nash and baritone saxophonist Scott Robinson, and an astonishing lineup of tenor saxophonists who don’t come close to laying a glove on the bandleader himself, compensate for an almost comically poor audio recording. And also: it’s becoming clear that Wayne Shorter made a mistake by signing with Verve Records, which seemed like an industry leader in 2000 and is today on life support; the Shorter Quartet, more than any other band in this decade, should have recorded a lot, so audiences could hear how its approach changes from night to night. And Verve simply doesn’t have the resources to record that way. One day there will, and should, be enough grey-market bootlegs to choke a horse.