If I Had To Choose: My Top Jazz Albums of 2011

Hey AT Readers,

Like many respectable jazz columns, blogs and so forth, I begin with the proverbial jazz opener:  My “Best Jazz of 2011” list is by no means the gospel.  It’s just my answer for the “If I Were On a Stranded Island and Could Only Take 10 Jazz Albums That Came Out In 2011 I’d bring…” game.

What.  You know you play that game.

2011 gifted us with some amazing music, evidenced by the list below.  No two albums are remotely the same, proving that jazz is most certainly vibrant and thriving. I am also extremely grateful to have interviewed half of the artists on my list this year.  The 1 – 10 order doesn’t really matter.  Just check out these artists if you haven’t already.  Every album here is worthy of a home in your listening device.



Best Jazz Albums of 2011

1. Gretchen Parlato: The Lost and Found (ObliquSound)

2. Marcus Strickland: Triumph of the Heavy Vol. 1 & 2 (Strick Muzik)

3. Ambrose Akinmusire: When the Heart Emerges Glistening (Blue Note)

4. Ben Williams: State of Art (Concord Jazz)

5. Ari Hoenig: Lines of Oppression (Naive)

6. Captain Black Big Band: Captain Black Big Band (Posi-Tone)

7. J.D. Allen Trio: Victory! (Sunnyside)

8. Terri Lyne Carrington: The Mosaic Project (Concord Jazz)

9. Adam Cruz: Milestone (Sunnyside)

10. Sonny Rollins: Road Shows, Volume 2 (Emarcy)