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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

JAZZ TODAY: Jazz Triumphs of 2011 That Only a Fool Could Miss

To be a critic is to risk being a boob. Those who dare to open their blabbermouths and spout an opinion are going to get called on the carpet. As they should.

And in the arts, with matters of judgment being highly subjective, getting it “wrong” is essentially guaranteed. Not everyone can agree with you.

Jazz singer Gretchen Parlato, unfairly overlooked by ME.
And often enough, a critic can’t even agree with himself. For me, as a jazz critic, the music is in constant motion, evolving. Just as a jazz musician plays a different solo every night on the same tune, my ear takes in the music in varying ways over time.

And so it is that, with the ‘ink barely dry’ on the PopMatters Best Jazz of 2011 list, I feel the need to come back with some amendments or additions—five recordings that I realize are so good that, well, how dare I have left them out?

Here they are; here’s why they’re so fine; and here’s why I may have missed them the first time around.

Tyshawn Sorey, Oblique—1 (Pi)

Miguel Zenón, Alma Adentro, The Puerto Rican Songbook (Marsalis Music)

Gretchen Parlato, The Lost and Found (ObliqueSound)

Brad Shepik Quartet, Across the Way (Songlines)

Steven Bernstein and the Millennial Territory Orchestra, MTO Plays Sly (The Royal Potato Family)

Read by full review of each of these discs HERE: Jazz Triumphs of 2011 That Only a Fool Could Miss.

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