Wrapping Up 2009 With The Year's "Best Jazz": Opinions & Reviews From The Jazz Blogging World
As we see 2009 come to an end, an obvious thing to do is reflect on the year and take a look at some
of the great albums and artists that have made it happen. While we have a list of favorites, we realized that it was hard to narrow it down in many categories, so rather than rattle off a long list, we are bringing you a culmination of top 10 lists and “best ofs” for the year – compliments of Accujazz.
(1) Our first reference is JazzTimes, offering their insight on the top 50 new releases and top 10 historical/reissue recordings of 2009. Jazz Times has always been a very good source of news and reviews in Jazz, and we happily recommend readers to scan through their selections.
(2) The Jazz Journalists Association (JJA) over at JazzHouse.org is another great source to turn to for avid jazz fans and bloggers all over the country. They have nicely organized and complied a few different bits of information, specifically information regarding the 10 jazz albums for 2009 and the 10 best new jazz releases of 2009.
(3) JazzandBlues.blogspot.com have have come through with their take specifically surrounding the post-modern shift in jazz, as musicians continually push the boundaries on “jazz” and seem to pick and choose which genres they cross reference in their music. This link is only the first part of their selections, and we anticipate they will be adding more within the next month.
As many fans of jazz know, this year has especially been one for reflection as well as uncertainty. As we take a look back at the greatest and most influential artists and albums of the year, it has also been in our best interest to view them in light of the future – that is with regard to the direction that “jazz” is going in. As Accujazz has pointed out, there was a controversial article written by Glenn Branca of the New York Times, insinuating among other things that “Jazz has stopped evolving and become a dead art.”
The role and impact of jazz on today’s society has been brought into the open on several occasions – not for the first time by any means – but now with a renewed spirit. Many claim that our current economic situation is to blame for most of the decline in popularity of jazz, but really all that refers to is number of albums being sold ($). Much more important is how the genre is being viewed and thought of.
From the decrease in touring jazz groups, live concerts,
and even popular jazz festivals, we are “lucky” enough to get outside opinions of jazz that seemingly aim to snuff out what is left of “an accident waiting to happen” (referring to a YouTube video, where 80s heavy metal band Spinal Tap puts forward their disgust for jazz.
While this comes with significant undertones, I believe it has been an important topic and theme throughout the year that can only serve to strengthen our support and love for jazz. The “best ofs” this year is a great way to reflect on the fact that despite tough times, we have had a great year for new artists and an even greater year for creativity and innovation.
We will continue to update our best picks as they come up, feel free to chime in.