Jazz isn’t discussed enough on The Afterword. I doubt much of it will appear in the end of year list when it is put together. However, as a genre, it is flourishing. There are oodles of great practitioners and fabulous bands making music that is as lively, inventive, challenging and current as jazz has ever been.
Here’s my top ten of 2015:
1. The Bad Plus Joseph Redman
The Bad Plus are a trio from Minnesota, Reid Anderson bass, Ethan Iverson piano and David King on drums. They are willing to try anything. Last year, they recorded a jazz version of The Rite Of Spring. In 2007, they released an album called Prog. They ought to be The Afterword’s house band. On this album, the trio are so empathetic, they sound like a single unit topped by Redman’s expressive, yet gentle, improvisations. It is a beautifully paced and balanced set of original compositions.
2. José James – Yesterday I Had The Blues – The Music Of Billie Holiday
Jazz is a tricky business. Creative challenge doesn’t sell much. When a record label wants to make money from a jazz artist they ask them to record a tribute album. What could » Continue Reading.