Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Favourite 2011 Jazz Recordings - Swing Is In The Air

Jacques Émond has been hosting Swing Is In The Air every Sunday from 4 - 5:30 PM for over 20 years. Here are his favourite jazz recordings from the past year.

1. Sonny Rollins – Road Shows Vol. 2 (Doxy)

Great playing by Sonny, Roy Haynes, Jim Hall and guest saxophonist Ornette Coleman.

2. Poncho Sanchez And Terrence Blanchard – Chano Y Dizzy! (Concord)

Poncho is one of the finest Conguero in jazz and Terrence Blanchard is one of the top trumpeters and composers in modern jazz.

3. Donato Bourassa Lozano Tanguay – Autour De Bill Evans (Effendi)

Fine tribute to the music of the fabulous Bill Evans by four fine Canadian musicians: Michel Donato bass, Francois Bourassa piano, Frank Lozano sax and Pierre Taunguay on drums.

4. Frank Sinatra and Count Basie – The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings(Concord)

Finally a reissue featuring two of the giants of music, with fine arrangements by Neal Hefti and Quincy Jones.

5. The Robert Fontaine Quartet – The Quiet Fellow (GSM)

An excellent group led by local drummer Robert Fontaine with bassist Tom Denison, Yves Laroche on piano and Rick Rangno on flugelhorn.

6. Ken Peplowski – In Search Of… (Capri)

One of the finest recordings by this excellent clarinetist and saxophonist backed by pianist Shelly Berg, Tom Kennedy on bass and without a doubt one of the finest drummers in Jazz: Jeff Hamilton.

7. Rebecca Kilgore & The Harry Allen Quartet – Feinstein’s Loews (Arbors)

This is a live recordings featuring two excellent artists: vocalist Rebecca Kilgore and saxophonist Harry Allen. Fabulous singing and great playing by all.

8. Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band – That’s How We Roll (Telarc)

This is the most exciting big band in modern jazz. Pianist and saxophonist Goodwin is also a very fine composer and arranger.

9. The Phil Norman Tentet – Encore (Mama)

This Tentet features some of the finest musicians based on the West Coast, such as pianist Christian Jacob, trombonist, Scott Whitfield, trumpeter Carl Saunders, Roger Neuman on sax, Larry Koonse guitar, Rusty Higgins on alto, etc.

10. Remi Bolduc Jazz Ensemble – Hommage A Charlie Parker (Effendi)

This is a wonderful tribute to Bird by three saxophonists plus a rhythm section playing some of the finest music by the legendary saxophonist.

11. Charlie Haden Quartet – Sophisticated Ladies (Emarcy)

I love when Charlie Haden and his musicians record material from the Great American Songbook. Some of the singers on this albums are Cassandra Wilson, Diana Krall, Renée Fleming and others. Great recording as usual from Haden.

12. Warren Vache – Ballads and Other Cautionary Tales (Arbors)

Warren has to be one of the top cornet players in Mainstream Jazz. It is difficult to find a recording by this artist that doesn’t impress and this recording is very impressive indeed.

13. Johnny Mandel - The Man and His Music (Arbors)

This is a superb recording featuring Sherrie Maricle’s DIVA Jazz Orchestrea with arrangements under the direction of Johnny Mandel live at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in New York. Get this recording; you will not be sorry.

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