Friday, December 29, 2017

Tim Mah's Top Canadian Jazz Albums of 2017

Further to my last blog post, my good friend Tim Mah has once again offered yet another year-end list, this time featuring his favourite Canadian Jazz recordings of 2017. Even more great music here to take check out!

Tim hosts the Jazz radio program "Jazz Today" on CJSW 90.9 FM (Calgary) and it airs every Thursday morning from 5:30 - 7:00am MST. Archives and track lists are available here:

This program is also available as a live stream on and the program is available as an iTunes podcast.

So without any further ado...

"Tim Mah's Top Canadian Jazz Albums of 2017"

In no particular order, here are ten of my favourite Canadian Jazz albums from 2017:

1) Matthew Stevens “Preverbal”

2) Emie R Roussel Trio “Intersections”

3) Chet Doxas “Rich in Symbols”

4) Quinsin Nachoff’s Ethereal Trio (self-titled)

5) Ralph Bowen (self titled)

6) Rachel Therrien Quintet “Why Don’t You Try”

7) Rubim de Toledo “The Gap”

8) Mike Downes “Root Structure”

9) Charles Trudel “Fruit”

10) Brad Cheeseman “The Tide Turns”

*Honorable Mentions*

Ashley Summers “True North”

Simon Denizart “Darkside”

Francois Bourassa Quartet “Number 9”

Diana Krall “Turn Up the Quiet”

Luke Sellick “Alchemist”

Ernesto Cervini’s Turboprop “Rev”

Carn Davidson Nine 9 “Murphy”

Christine Jensen & Orchestre National de Jazz de Montreal “Under the Influence Suite”

Bria Skonberg “With a Twist”

Hilario Duran “Contumbao”

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Tim Mah's Top Jazz Picks of 2017

My good friend Tim Mah has once again painstakingly and very generously put together his yearly list featuring his favourite Jazz recordings of 2017. Lots of great music here to take note of.

Tim hosts the Jazz radio program "Jazz Today" on CJSW 90.9 FM (Calgary) and it airs every Thursday morning from 5:30 - 7:00am MST. Archives and track lists are available here:

This program is also available as a live stream on and the program is available as an iTunes podcast.

So without any further ado...

"Tim Mah's Top Jazz Picks of 2017"

Below is a list of 50 of my favourite jazz albums for 2017 (released from December 2016 to November 2017) and in no particular order:

1. Kurt Rosenwinkel “Caipi”

2. Cecile McLorin Salvant “Dreams and Daggers”

3. Jazzmeia Horn “A Social Call”

4. Linda May Han Oh “Walk Against Wind”

5. Chris Potter, David Virelles, Joe Martin, Marcus Gilmore “The Dreamer is the Dream”

6. Bill Charlap Trio “Uptown, Downtown”

7. Billy Childs “Rebirth”

8. Aaron Parks, Ben Street and Billy Hart “Find the Way”

9. Nate Smith “KINFOLK: Postcards from Everywhere”

10. Vijay Iyer Sextet “Far From Over”

11. Craig Taborn “Daylight Ghosts”

12. Kamasi Washington “Harmony of Difference”

13. Thundercat “Drunk”

14. Alan Broadbent “Developing Story” (with the London Metropolitan Orchestra)

15. Alan Ferber Big Band “Jigsaw”

16. Blue Note All-Stars “Our Point of View”

17. Terrace Martin Presents The Pollyseeds “Sounds of Crenshaw, Vol. 1”

18. Christian McBride Big Band “Bringin” It”

19. Ambrose Akinmusure “A Rift in Decorum: Live”

20. Nicholas Payton “Afro-Caribbean Mix-Tape"

21. Ron Miles “I Am A Man”

22. Brian Blade & the Fellowship Band “Body and Shadow”

23. Miguel Zenon “Tipico”

24. Christian Scott and Tunde Adjuah “Ruler Rebel”, “Diaspora” and “The Emancipation Procrastination”

25. Antonio Sanchez “Bad Hombre”

26. Binker & Moses “Journey to the Mountain of Forever”

27. Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet “Jersey”

28. Mammal Hands “Shadow Work”

29. Christian Sands “Reach”

30. Keyon Harrold “The Mugician”

31. Becca Stevens “Regina”

32. Fred Hersch “Open Book”

33. George Colligan “More Powerful” (featuring Linda May Han Oh, Rudy Royston, Nicole Glover)

34. Matt Wilson “Honey and Salt”

35. Yotam Silberstein “The Village”

36. John Beasley “Monk’estra Vol 2”

37. Natasha Agrama “The Heart of Infinite Change”

38. Sarah Elizabeth Charles “Free of Form”

39. Portico Quartet “Art in the Age of Automation”

40. Ben Allison “Layers in the City”

41. Walt Weiskopf “Fountain of Youth”

42. Miles Okazaki “Trickster”

43. Kneebody “Anti-Hero”

44. Tigran Hamaysan “An Ancient Observer”;

45. Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra “The Music of John Lewis (feat. Jon Batiste & Wynton Marsalis”

46. SFJAZZ Collective “Music of Miles Davis & Original Compositions Live: SFJazz Center 2016

47. Somi “Petite Afrique”

48. Ulysses Owens Jr. “Falling Forward”

49. Simon Premazzi “Outspoken”

50. Riverside “The New National Anthem"

*Honourable Mentions*

Joe Sanders “Humanity”

David Virelles “Gnosis”

Mostly Other People Do the Killing “Paint”

Phronesis, Julian Arguelles & Frankfurt Radio Big Band “The Behemoth”

Jane Ira Bloom “Wild Lines: Improvising on Emily Dickinson”

Willie Jones III “My Point Is…”

Bob Reynolds “Hindsight”

Josh Nelson “The Sky Remains”

Chris Speed Trio “Platinum on Tap"

Maurice Brown “The Mood”

Harold Mabern “To Love and Be Loved”

Lucas Pino “The Answer is No”

Roxy Coss “Chasing the Unicorn”

MAE.SUN “Vol. 1: Inter-be”

Joey Alexander “Joey.Monk.Live!”

Avishai Cohen “Cross My Palm With Silver”

Katie Thiroux “Off Beat”

Johnny O’Neal “In the Moment”

Edward Simon, Scott Colley & Brian Blade “Steel House”

Jeremy Pelt “Make Noise!”

Dayme Arocena “Cubafonia”

Champian Fulton “Speechless”

Champian Fulton & Scott Hamilton “The Things We Did Last Summer”

Steve Coleman’s Natal Eclipse “Morphogenesis”;

Ryan Keberle & Catharsis “Find the Common, Shine a Light”

Sean Jones “Live from Jazz at the Bistro”

Mark de Clive-Lowe “Live at the Blue Whale”

Rodney Green Quartet “Live at Montmarte (feat. Warren Wolf)”

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra “Handful of Keys”

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra “All Jazz is Modern”

Hear in Now “Not Living in Fear”

Zara McFarlane “Arise”

Braxton Cook “Somewhere in Between”

Hermeto Pascoal & Big Band “Natureza Universal”

Arturo O’Farrill and Chucho Valdes “Familia: Tribute to Bebo & Chico”

Fabian Almazan & Rhizome “Alcanza”

Butcher Brown “Live at Vagabond”

Matt Mitchell “A Pouting Grimace”

Gerald Clayton "Tributary Tales"

Emmet Cohen "Masters Legacy Series, Volume One: Jimmy Cobb"

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Elvin Jones Trio

I've been enjoying these ones lately and would love to hear more of this trio incarnation (according to Discogs there are four volumes from this live date?):

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Jimmy Wormworth

When I was visiting New York City during the late 90s and early 2000s on a fairly frequent basis, I could always count on hearing drummer Jimmy Wormworth (and Jimmy Lovelace for that matter...) down at Smalls at some point during my journey and it was ALWAYS swinging! While not a household name, his accomplishments and playing speak for themselves in my opinion.

Fortunately for us, here's a trio of interviews with this Master drummer, a true living legend:

And special thanks to Chad Anderson who passed along this brief but great footage of Wormworth in action, trading fours with some slick, swinging moves:

Thursday, December 14, 2017

When the Masters Speak...

...we listen.

These clips are all from a forthcoming documentary entitled Artists of Jazz. Check out this website for more information and more gems of wisdom, straight from the people who created this art form.

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Monday Morning Paradiddle

And...we're back. Well, it's been a minute since our last column but here's an assortment of interesting items for your perusal:

- Tributes to several great drummers who have recently left us:

Grady Tate

Ben Riley

Sunny Murray

- Jazz drumming legend Louis Hayes interviewed by The Trap Set with Joe Wong:

And a feature on Hayes via JazzTimes magazine:

- Jeff "Tain" Watts interviewed over at WGBH:

- A feature on Canadian Jazz drummer Norman Marshall Villneuve from the Montreal Gazette:

- Holy smokes! A bootleg of Old and New Dreams "Live in Saalfeden 1986" with Paul Motian filling in for Ed Blackwell:

- Interview with Rakalam Bob Moses:

I've really been digging Moses' new on-line lessons over at MyMusicMasterclass lately so be sure to check those out here:

- Some brief footage of Lewis Nash in action with Steve Nelson, Mulgrew Miller and Bob Hurst:

- Thanks to Jimmy Katz for providing these next solo clips :

Francisco Mela

Marcus Gilmore

And from Chick Corea's podcast, dig this feature on Marcus Gilmore:

- Some incredible footage of Antonio Sanchez' "Bad Hombre":

Sanchez talks about his latest project here:

- Thanks to Regina's Jim Gallagher for hipping me to this great one of the Oscar Peterson trio featuring the underrated Bobby Durham on drums:

- This is pretty amazing too, The Roots' Questlove demonstrating a Tony Allen beat:

- I asked Ted Warren awhile ago to comment on his favourite open drum solos and this is what he had to offer:

"I really like the aforementioned Jack DeJohnette on "Salsa For Eddie G". I like it because even though it's free, it does make reference to the tune and provides a beautiful intro. Plus, all the rimshots on the toms sound fantastic!!!! Secondly, I'll nominate " Steps/What Was" which is Roy Haynes on Chick's "Now He Sings, Now He Sobs". Wow! There's so much to like about this solo. First he opens it with a metric modulation of the jazz ride pattern (I'm not sure if he or Tony Williams recorded it first, but it's certainly a great early example). Then he gets this great interplay going between the rims of all the drums (going down the kit) and the Paiste 602 flat ride he's using, which apparently was owned by Chick (It's also amazing to note, since I don't think he had spent much time with the flat ride, how quickly he grasped it's qualities and sonic possibilities.) Then the floor tom comes roaring in. This solo is sooooo well constructed and exciting. He then plays fast bass drum underneath everything while he's playing all around the drums. He finally ends by taking a single stroke roll from the body of the snare drum to the snare drum rim, then switching to the flat ride and establishing the 3/4 groove for the next tune. It's such a creative beautiful solo that transitions between the two tunes that I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's my favorite drum solo EVER!!!"

- Thanks to Toronto's Nick Fraser for hipping us to this amazing Dexter Gordon/Gene Ammons record that features BOTH Steve McCall and Wilbur Campbell (two very important Jazz drummers out of Chicago) splitting the drum chair:

- What am I listening to these days?

Antonio Sanchez "Bad Hombre" - Antonio Sanchez (drums)

Christian McBride Big Band "Bringing' It" - Quincy Phillips (drums)

Wayne Shorter "Night Dreamer" - Elvin Jones (drums)

Turboprop "Rev" - Ernesto Cervini (drums)

We3 "Amazing" - Adam Nussbaum (drums)

The Three Sounds "Introducing" - Bill Dowdy (drums)

Rodney Green Quartet "Live Jazzhus Montmatre Copenhagen" - Rodney Green (drums), Warren Wolf (drums)

Matt Wilson "Honey and Salt: Music Inspired by the Poetry of Carl Sandburg" - Matt Wilson (drums)

Milt Jackson Quartet "That's the Way it is" - Dick Berk (drums), Milt Jackson (vibes)

Mike Murley & Dave Liebman "Live at UofT" - Terry Clarke (drums)

- And today's Final Word goes to American poet Carl Sanburg (via Matt Wilson's latest release):

“There is a music for lonely hearts nearly always.
If the music dies down there is a silence.
Almost the same as the movement of music.
To know silence perfectly is to know music.”

- Carl Sandburg, "Good Morning, America"

Thanks again to you all for all your continued support. I sure appreciate your interest in what I have to share with the world. Don't forget to check out my ever evolving Instagram page at:

Monday, December 4, 2017

Interview with Mickey Roker

Thanks to Chad Anderson for sharing this series of interviews with many Jazz greats, brought to us by the Fillius Jazz Archive at Hamilton College. Pay attention to this one in particular with the great Mickey Roker:

And now check this out, some burning footage of Mickey Roker featured with Hank Jones on piano and George Mraz on bass: