For fans of adventuresome jazz, 2014 certainly had a rich grab bag of audio gems to choose from. Here are the finest releases of the year. Thank you for listening!
Miles Davis / Miles At The Fillmore /Columbia-Legacy: It is a thrilling experience to hear Miles Davis and his band achieve the impossible over and over again in this rollercoaster ride of four nights of performances from June, 1970 at the Fillmore East In New York City.
Once again we're back with this year's edition of our respective picks for top albums of the year. Inhabiting our three hours on Saturday nights we have been hearing a lot from the albums listed below, all of which should also prove attractive recordings to which we'll return over the years. Dispensing with all pretense of maintaining a rigorous limit in deference to this year's bountiful array of releases, here are a number of eminently worthy recordings:
John Coltrane leads a band on a 1966 live recording, Offering, which is perhaps the last great concert performance of the legendary saxophonist, Miles Davis sideman, composer, and bandleader.
Long awaited by fans of the saxophonist, John Coltrane's Offering will be featured this month on the Last Call. The two CD set presents Coltrane and his 1966 band with special guests in an inspired free jazz performance.
A band well known for their fearless re-arrangements of pop classics into unpredictable jazz explorations, The Bad Plus has earned a reputation as iconoclasts. An acquired taste to many, refreshingly outrageous to others, The Bad Plus-Reid Anderson on bass, Ethan Iverson on piano, and David King on drums, have released a highly original body of work over the last fifteen years. The fearless free-spirited demolition of expected chord structure and melody into something completely unexpected is a Bad Plus trademark.
The new disc by the septet The Cookers harkens back to the days of the classic hard bop sessions on Blue Note by Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Wayne Shorter and Jackie McLean.
The music soars with fine soloing on the front line with Billy Harper on tenor, Donald Harrison on alto and two trumpeters, David Weiss and Eddie Henderson. The rhythm section of pianist George Cables, bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Billy Hart keep things firmly grounded and in the pocket.