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Top Ten

JazzChicago's Top Jazz Albums of 2007

The holiday season is a fun, but stressful time for anyone, but for the reviewer, it is doubly so, as this is the time to go back over the year's releases and compile a list of the best of the best. While it is exhilarating to hear all of the great music that came out during 2007 again (those who believe Jazz to be a dying art form need only listen to a few of the releases on this list to change their mind), it is also nerve-wracking to try to assign value to such disparate and worthy releases. This list could be rearranged daily, and I can think of nearly another 25 releases that the readers would find worthwhile to hear. Some may fault me for my omissions, but obviously it is impossible to hear everything. I didn't hear highly acclaimed releases by Nels Cline, Kurt Elling or Dee Dee Bridgewater, but my biggest regret is that based on his concert performance, I am sure McCoy Tyner would have easily made the list, but strangely, I did not receive the album as promised by his management. So sorry, Mr. Tyner.

In looking over the list, I am amazed at the strength of the releases in 2007. McCaslin's album was the best of the year, but it was a tough call to make over Brecker's fine final release. And while arguments to change and reorder again and again dance through my head, one must finally put the foot down and say enough. I'll live and die with it as is.

In Pursuit
#1 - Donny McCaslin
"In Pursuit"

#2 - Michael Brecker
Enrico Rava
#3 - Enrico Rava
"The Word and the Days"
My Foolish Heart
#4 - Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock
Jack DeJohnette

"My Foolish Heart"
From the Plantation to the Penitentiary
#5 - Wynton Marsalis
"From the Plantation
to the Penitentiary"
Ari Brown Live at the Green Mill
#6 - Ari Brown
"Live at the Green Mill"
#7 - Sinikka Langeland
A Tale of God's Will
#8 - Terrence Blanchard
"A Tale of God's Will
(A Requiem for Katrina)"
Brown Street
#9 - Joe Zawinul/ WDR Big Band
"Brown Street"
Follow the Red Line
#10 - Chris Potter Underground
"Follow the Red Line"

#11 - Dino Saluzzi/ Anja Lechner - "Ojos Negros

#12 - Exploding Star Orchestra - "We Are All From Somewhere Else"

#13 - Herbie Hancock - "River: The Joni Letters"

#14 - Ron Carter - "Dear Miles"

#15 - Chris Potter - "Song For Anyone"

#16 - Joan Stiles - "Hurly Burly"

#17 - Abbey Lincoln - "Abbey Sings Abbey"

#18 - Miles Okazaki - "Mirror"

#19 - Morrie Louden - "Time Piece"

#20 - Tain Watts - "Folks Songs"

#21 - Marty Ehrlich & Myra Melford - "Spark"

#22 - Anat Fort - "A Long Time"

#23 - Frank Vignola - "Vignola Plays Gershwin"

#24 - Michele Rosewoman - "The In Side Out"

#25 - Manu Katche - "Playground"

Other Notable Recordings

Bobby Sanabria - "Big Band Urban Folktales"
Paul Bley - "Solo in Mondsee"
Sam Sadigursky - "The Words Project"
Mark Weinstein - "Con Alma"
David Jennings Acoustic Ensemble - "Eternity"
Nicole Mitchell - "Black Unstoppable"
James Davis Quintet - "Angles of Refraction"
Abigail Riccards - "When the Night is New"
Mace Hibbard - "When Last We Met"
Eberhard Weber - "Stages of a Long Journey"
Stefano Bollani - "Piano Solo"
David Torn - "Prezens"
Tom Teasley - "Painting Time"
Miroslav Vitous - "Universal Syncopations II"
David Guidi Quartet - " Beachside"
Jimmy Bruno - "Maplewood Avenue"
Lisa Hilton - "The New York Sessions"
John Abercrombie - "The Third Quartet"
Bobby Lewis - "Instant Groove"
Kahil El Zabar Infinity Orchestra - "Transmigration"
Mary Ann Douglas - "Unfinished Business"
Bradford Hayes - "The Jazz Life"
Misha Piatgorsky - "AYA"
Eric Alabaster - "Paghel Meshugah -
The Loco Love Songs of Eric Alabaster"

Roberta Duchak - "Intersections"
Soulio - "Soulio"
Marlon Simon & the Nagual Spirits - "In Case You Missed It"
Debbie Poryes Trio - "A Song in Jazz"
Charlie Hunter - "Mistico"
Jason Steele Ensemble - "Some Wonderful Moment"
Keefe Jackson's Fast Citizens - "Ready Everyday"

Wynton Marsalis
2007 Song of the Year
Wynton Marsalis
"From the Plantation
to the Penitentiary"

Photo by Phil Bonyata
Chris Potter
2007 Jazz Artist of the Year
Chris Potter
Nicole Mitchell
2007 Chicago Jazz Artist of the Year
Nicole Mitchell

Photo by Brad Walseth
Corey Wilkes & Maurice Brown
2007 Concert of the Year
"Double Trouble" rolls double!!!
Corey Wilkes & Maurice Brown
For the second year in a row!!!
photo by James Walker, Jr.

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