Best beyond “jazz” CDs of 2009

My 10 top CDs of 2009 blow past conventions to enrich jazz, blues, new and unusual music. They're chosen from almost 1000 I received for review -- an abundance of fine releases since November 2008, the full year following Barack Obama's election to president.Maybe it's coincidence that fresh thinking, spirited energy and practical creativity runs high  at this moment in history -- or maybe it's that 2009's challenges require musicians like everyone else to find new answers to the tough questions: how to find joy amid gloom, work to … [Read more...]

Today’s the day NYC goes beyond jazz

On September 17,New York kicks off a fall season more highly charged with new creative energies than any in memory. An army of mostly young, skilled, ambitious and devoted musicians is making itself heard in the East Village, Soho, Brooklyn, on the Lower West Side and in the clubs -- while benevolence is cast by the first ever performance -- at last -- of Ornette Coleman at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Sept. 26. … [Read more...]