Sunday, December 23, 2012

Downbeat magazine's Best CDs of 2012 (edited)

Adding to our parade of "best of" lists, here's an edited version of Downbeat magazine's most highly rated CDs of 2012 (from the December 2012 print issue), which translates to the CDs that received a 4-to-5 star rating in the magazine during the year of 2012.  I've edited the list to focus on the CDs that feature heavy saxophone playing.  I've no where near listened to all these CDs, so I'm flying slightly blind in my editing, and my own tastes have definitely had an influence on the choices (for example, I've left out some of the recordings that are likely in the category of free jazz).  So keep this in mind when perusing the list.  To get the full list, you'll have to get your hands on the December 2012 issue of Downbeat.  The astute reader will notice a number of recordings that have already been reviewed here on AJS.  The list also gives me ideas for some catching up I'll be doing in the coming weeks; you'll be seeing the fruits of this catching up in reviews on AJS.  In the meantime, I hope this list proves interesting to the sax-oriented jazz listener.  (As usual, any readers who have comments on this list or any of my omissions, please send them on to AJS.)

5 stars

Unhinged - Jon Irabagon’s Outright!

4 ½ stars

Claroscuro – Anat Cohen
Angelic Warrior – Tia Fuller
I Don’t Hear Nuthin’ But the Blues Volume 2: Appalachian Haze – Jon Irabagon
Here Today - Jason Palmer (w/ Mark Turner)
Reunion: Live in New York - Sam Rivers/Dave Holland/Barry Altschul
Today’s Opinion – Yosvany Terry

4 stars

Within a Song – John Abercrombie
Rhythm on the River – Harry Allen
The Matador and the Bull – JD Allen
Snakeoil – Tim Berne
Barefooted Town – David Binney
Scheherazazde’s Tales – Igor Butman Orchestra
High on You – Pete Christlieb and Linda Small
Spirit Fiction - Ravi Coltrane
Live at Smalls – Jesse Davis Quintet
Be Still – Dave Douglas Quintet
The Only Son of One – Wayne Escoffery
Year of the Snake – Fly
Twilight – Victor Goines Quintet
All Our Reasons – Billy Hart
Lucky 13 – Javon Jackson
Sleeper – Keith Jarrett
Book of Mae’bul – Darius Jones Quartet
Traverse – Brian Landrus
Dialect Florescent – Steve Lehman Trio
Home on Richmond – Pat Mallinger Quartet
Four MF’s Playin’ Tunes – Branford Marsalis Quartet
Mary Lou Williams – The Next 100 years – Virginia Mayhew Quartet
Casting for Gravity – Donny McCaslin
Ghosts of the Sun – Bill McHenry
Unity Band – Pat Metheny
For the Moment – Bob Mintzer Big Band
Initial Here – Linda Oh
Abstract Society – Jure Pukl
Hart-beat – Stephen Riley
Bassprint – Marlene Rosenberg Quartet (with Geof Bradfield)
Plugged In – Jerome Sabbagh
Smul’s Pardise – Gary Smulyan
Believe – The Cookers
Romance Language – Kirk Whalum
Rayuela – Miguel Zenon and Laurent Coq

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