This can't start to be a series of posts until I do more than Number 1, and what better way to continue this series than with a number of "best of" lists that various jazz writers, bloggers and sites have published in the past couple of months. I'm woefully late to the party, but I'm trying to share with you some "best of 2009" lists from ears with a widely divergent range, of course, that may reflect but don't necessarily parallel mine (maybe next year I'll join them).
- Starting out with a local spin, here's Jack Garner's list of Top CDs from the Democrat & Chronicle and a PDF with Jazz 90.1 Radio's 100 top jazz CDs of 2009 (they couldn't limit it to 10...). As if 100 weren't enough (although there is overlap), WGMC music director Derrick Lucas has his top 2009 CDs on his previously unknown to me blog, The Spectrum Jazz.
- Former Rochesterian Jason Crane has a Top 10 Jazz CDs of 2009, which he compiled for the 2009 Village Voice Jazz Critics Poll. I agree that putting together lists like these can be a ridiculous exercise, but their value is in the beholder. If you find one or two CDs, or a new artist, that ends up in your CD player or iPod due to checking out these lists, then it's worth it. Stepping into the ears of others can help you discover great music.
- National Public Radio's A Blog Supreme has been a great source over the past year or so since it came into existence. The young jazz hound behind it, Patrick Jarenwattananon, put together a great list of lists, capturing the year in jazz ephemera from NPR Music's vantage point. NPR Music also lets you in on Take Five's Top 10 Jazz Records of 2009, based on their listener's suggestions. NPR Station WGBO's jazz man Josh Jackson (who hosts their great new jazz show The Checkout) has his list 2009: The Year of Living Improvisationally up on NPR's site as well. One of the great things about some of these lists is that you can listen to cuts selected from the listed CDs right on the site.
- As jazz writer Howard Mandel writes in his blog Jazz Beyond Jazz, his Best beyond "jazz" CDs of 2009 "blow past conventions to enrich jazz, blues, new and unusual music."
- The Internet jazz radio Accujazz.com created a Best of 2009 channel, made up of cuts from various lists. It's a great way to get a taste of the exciting music released in 2009.
- There are a number of lists on the Jazz Journalist Association's site, including (in alpha order): David R. Adler, Christan Broecking, Stuart Broomer, Steve Feeney, Fred Kaplan, Bill Milkowski, Dan Ouellette, Hank Shteamer, Michael J. West, and probably many more (I know that Jason Crane and Howard Mandel contributed there as well).
- Ted Gioia listed his best of 2009 on Jazz.com.
- You can find JazzTimes Critics Picks: Top 50 New Albums and Top 10 Historical Releases on JazzTimes.com
- Ran across Dan McClenaghan's list and Ken Franckling's 2009: A Year in Jazz article on AllAboutJazz.com.
- Destination: Out blog has put out its Fave Jazz Jamz of 2009
- Williard Jenkins' Independent Ear blog has a Ancient Future Top 20+ of 2009 playlist up.
- One of my fellow travelers in small (although much larger than ours) city jazz blogging, Dean Minderman, has pointed in the comments to his extensive and growing "list of lists" on the best 2009 jazz over on St. Louis Jazz Notes.
There's so much more that' I've probably missed, but had to stop this post somewhere. I've found some great sounds on these lists and hope to continue to (haven't even come close to listening to it all). I'll let you decide... If you have a favorite jazz CD of 2009, let us know in the comments. Looking forward to hearing what you listen to!
By the way, if you have a jazz link you've run across to share with the Rochester jazz community and beyond, send me an email by clicking on the Send an "Send an email to Jazz@Rochester" link in the left panel or join Jazz@Rochester's Facebook page and add it there.