W. Royal Stokes’ Best CDs of 2010
(Scroll way down for my lengthy list of Notable CDs of 2010)

Nota bene: All of my choices are in alphabetical order by artist or name of group.

Best Jazz CDs
Bill Charlap, Renee Rosnes Double Portrait (Blue Note)
Cindy Blackman, Another Lifetime (Four Quarters Entertainment)
Cyrus Chestnut Trio, Journeys (Jazz Legacy Productions)
The Either/Orchestra: Mood Music for Time Travellers (Accurate Records)
Curtis Fuller, I Will Tell Her (Capri)
Barry Harris, Live in Rennes (Plus Loin Music/Harmonia Mundi)
Russell Malone, Triple Play (MAXJAZZ)
Microscopic Septet, Friday the 13th: The Micros Play Monk (Cuneiform)
Jason Moran, Ten (Blue Note)
Bob Wilber, Bob Wilber Is Here (Arbors)

Best Jazz Vocal CDs
Dee Dee Bridgewater, Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie with Love from Dee Dee (Emarcy/Universal Music)
Charmaine Clamor, Something Good (Free Ham)
Kellylee Evans (Plus Loin Music/Harmonia Mundi)
Lauren Hooker, Life of the Music (Miles High)
Norah Jones, . . . Featuring (Blue Note)
Jane Monheit, Home (Emarcy/Decca)
Louise Rogers, Black Coffee (Chesky)
Catherine Russell, Inside This Heart of Mine (World Village/Harmonia Mundi)
Jackie Ryan, Best of Love Songs (Open Art Productions)
Dolores Scozzesi, A Special Taste (Rhombus)
Robin Skye, House of Love (Mar Creation)
Taeko, Voice (Flat Nine)
Gabriele Tranchina, A Song of Love’s Color (Jazzheads)
Cassandra Wilson, Silver Pony (Ojah Media Group/Blue Note)
Nikki Yanofsky, Nikki (Decca)

Best Jazz Reissues
Dave Brubeck, Legacy of a Legend (Columbia Legacy)
The Dave Brubeck Quartet: Original Album Classics (Columbia/Sony)
Dave Brubeck, Original Album Classics (Columbia/Sony Masterworks)
California Concert, The Hollywood Palladium: CTI Records 40th Anniversary Edition (Sony Masterworks)
The Complete Ahmad Jamal Trio Argo Sessions (Mosaic)
The Complete 1932-1940 Brunswick, Columbia, and Master Recordings of Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra (Mosaic)
The Complete Novus & Columbia Recordings Of Henry Threadgill & Air (Mosaic)

Best Blues and Beyond
Tony Addison, He Is Love (That Other Label/Pacific Coast Jazz)
Ana, Reflections (Innova)
The Best of Sacred Steel (Arhoolie)
Kitty Brazelton, Ecclesiastes: A Modern Oratorio (Innova)
Big Blood, Dead Songs (Time-Lag)
Eden Brent, ain’t got no troubles (Yellow Dog)
Carolina Chocolate Drops, Genuine Negro Jig (Nonesuch)
Renée Fleming, Dark Hope (Decca)
Garry Nichols, The Way We Do It Down South (Fame)
Suzanne Pittson, Out of the Hub: The Music of Freddie Hubbard (Vineland)
Scott Robinson, Nucleus (ScienSonic)
Carrie Rodriguez, Love and Circumstance (Ninth Street Opus)
Soft Machine Legacy, Live Adventures (Moonjune)
Mavis Staples, You Are Not Alone (Anti)
Stonehoney, The Cedar Creek Sessions (Music Road)
Milan Zdravkovic, Sur Les Traces Des Phéniciens (In the Wake of the Phoenicians) (World Village/Harmonia Mundi)

Best Seasonal CDs
The Tony Bennett Christmas Album (RPM Records/Columbia Legacy)
Bradley Leighton, Holiday of Lights (Pacific Coast Jazz)
Wynton Marsalis, Christmas Jazz Jam (Somerset Entertainment)
John Sheridan’s Dream Band, Hooray for Christmas! (Arbors)
Jay Ungar & Molly Mason, The Pleasures of Winter (Fiddle & Dance)
Matt Wilson’s Christmas Tree-O (Palmetto)

Best DVDs
America’s Music Legacy, Country and Western (MVD Visual)
America’s Music Legacy, Gospel (MVD Visual)
America’s Music Legacy, Rhythm & Blues (MVD Visual)
America’s Music Legacy, Rock ’N’ Roll (MVD Visual)
Down Home Music: A Journey Through the Heartland 1963 (Arhoolie Film)
Leslie Pintchik Quartet, Live in Concert (Pintch Hard)
Ana Popovic Band, Live From the Heart of Italy (Ana Popovic Music)
Johnny Winter, Live ’80s (MVD Visual)

Notable CDs of 2010
Jason Adasiewicz, Sun Rooms (Delmark)
Gabriel Alegria, Pucusana (Saponegro)
Ehud Asherie, Welcome to New York (Arbors)
The Lynn Baker Quartet, Azure Intention (OA2)
Newman Taylor Baker, Drum . Suite . Life (Innova)
The Blue Lou and Misha Project, Highly Classified (Prima Vista)
Anthony Brown’s Asian American Orchestra, India & Africa (Water Baby)
Hadley Caliman & Pete Christlieb, Reunion (Origin)
Anat Cohen, Clarinet Work: Live at the Village Vanguard (Anzic)
The Cookers, Warriors (Jazz Legacy Productions)
The Tom Cunningham Orchestra, Swingin’ & Singin’ (Tom Cunningham)
Paquito D’Rivera, Panamericana Suite (MCG Jazz)
Kevin Eubanks, Zen Food (Mack Avenue)
Kali. Z. Fasteau, Animal Grace (Flying Note)
Rebecca Coupé Franks, Check the Box (RCF)
Frank Gratkowski & Jacob Anderskov, Ardent Grass (Red Toucan)
Grimal/Konitz/Peacock/Motian, Owls Talk (Hôte Marge)
Roy Hargrove, Emergence (Emarcy/Universal Music)
Harmonie Ensemble/New York, Gershwin by Grofé: Symphonic Jazz (Harmonia Mundi)
Gene Harris Quartet, Another Night in London (Resonance)
Conrad Herwig, The Latin Side of Herbie Hancock (Half Note)
Benjamin Herman, Hypo Christmas Treefuzz: More Mengelberg (Roach)
Lindsey Horner, Undiscovered Country (artistShare)
Christian Howes with Robben Ford, Out of the Blue (Resonance)
Frank Kimbrough, Rumors (Palmetto)
B. D. Lenz, Five & Live (BDLENZ Music)
Dave Liebman, Quest: Re-Dial, Live in Hamburg (Out Note)
Dave Lisik Orchestra featuring Tim Hagans, Coming Through Slaughter: The Bolden Legend (Galloping Cow Music)
Sarah McLawler, Under My Hat (Doodlin’)
John Medeski & Lee Shaw, Together Again (Artists Recording Collective)
Brad Mehldau, Highway Rider (Nonesuch)
Pat Metheny, Orchestrion (Nonesuch)
Allison Miller, Boom Tic Boom (Foxhaven)
Bob Mintzer, Canyon Cove (Cheetah)
Charnett Moffett, Treasure (Motéma Music)
Ken Peplowski, Noir Blue (Capri)
Art Pepper, Unreleased Art, Vol. V: Stuttgart May 25, 1981 (Widow’s Taste)
Danilo Pérez, Providencia (Mack Avenue)
Leslie Pintchik, We’re Here to Listen (Pintch Hard)
Tineke Postma, The Traveller (EtceteraNow)
Marc Ribot, Silent Movies (Pi Recodings)
Jason Robinson, The Two Faces of Janus (Cuneiform)
Scott Robinson, Live at Space Farms (ScienSonic)
Claudio Roditi, Simpaticao (Resonance)
Kurt Rosenwinkel and Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos, Our Secret World (Wommusic)
David Sanborn, Only Everything (Decca)
Septeto Nacional De Ignacio Pinero, Sin Rumba No Hay Son (World Village/Harmonia Mundi)
The Lee Shaw Trio, Live at Art Gallery Reutlingen (Artists Recording Collective)
Omar Sosa & NDR Bigband, Ceremony (Otá Records)
Ira Sullivan Presents Jim Cooper: Nutville (Delmark)
Allen Toussaint, The Bright Mississippi (Nonesuch)
University of Missouri Concert Jazz Band, Vertigo: The Music of Mike Mainieri (University of Missouri Jazz Studies)
The Warren Vaché-John Allred Quintet, Top Shelf (Arbors)
Bobby Watson, The Gates BBQ Suite (Lafiya Music)
Kenny Werner, No Beginning No End (Half Note)
Sarah Wilson, Trapeze Project (brass tonic)
Phil Wilson & Makoto Ozone, Live!! at the Berklee Performance Center (Capri)
Jordan Young Group (Jordan Young)

W. Royal Stokes was editor of Jazz Notes, the quarterly journal of the Jazz Journalists Association, from 1992 to 2001 and has been editor of JazzTimes and the Washington Post’s jazz critic. He is the author of The Jazz Scene: An Informal History from New Orleans to 1990 (Oxford University Press, 1991), Swing Era New York: The Jazz Photographs of Charles Peterson (Temple University Press, 1994), Living the Jazz Life: Conversations with Forty Musicians about Their Careers in Jazz (Oxford University Press, 2000), and Growing Up With Jazz: Twenty-Four Musicians Talk About Their Lives and Careers (Oxford University Press, 2005). His novel Backwards Over will see publication in 2011. He currently writes for Jazzhouse.org and JJA News and is at work on a memoir and a fourth collection of jazz and blues profiles.

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