My Top 10 Jazz CDs of 2013Don Albert
Jazzaholic by Don Albert: Out of the many, many Jazz CDs that arrive for review, how does one choose ten of the best?
It’s terribly difficult; it’s almost like asking which is your favourite of your children.
I’m not clever enough to work out what the other critics might choose. I choose what I like and CDs I will go back to many times. In my case there are many of the latter.
I have a very catholic taste. I enjoy melodic improvisation, as opposed to running the changes and seeing how many notes you can play in every bar. I’m in awe of the technique that the players today have, unfortunately it all becomes very impressive, but boring.
Charlie Parker had that same technique, but he used it playing ideas underpinned with the blues and melodies.
So in the end I selfishly choose what I like, and my Top 10 jazz CDs for 2013.
The first two tie for top spot, after that it’s in no particular order. I have included the record label in brackets.
Eddie Daniels & Roger Kellaway: Duke At The Roadhouse (IPO Recordings).
Marlene Ver Planck: Ballads …. Mostly (Audiophile).
Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet: Latin Jazz, Jazz Latin (Patois).
Django Festival All Stars: Live At Birdland (Three’s A Crowd Records).
Pete McGuinness: Voice Like A Horn (Summit).
Frank Wess: Magic 101 (IPO Recordings).
Tom Kennedy: Just Play (Capri)
Mark Masters: Everything You Do (Capri)
Mark Masters: Ellington Saxophone Encounters (Capri).
The Ali Ryerson Jazz Flute Big Band: Game Changer (Capri)
Don Albert is a saxophonist and jazz journalist. He spent 12 years with The Star Newspaper on the Tonight! section writing about jazz. Currently he writes jazz CD and book reviews for Financial Mail and is the South African Correspondent for Downbeat (USA) and Jazz Journal International (UK). He has presented radio programmes on jazz and served awards.as judge at prestigious competitions. He has also won numerous awards.