A down year still yields plenty of power and exhilaration for adventurous jazzheads
2007 seemed like kind of a middling year for jazz, upon casual reflection. The big deaths—Andrew Hill, Oscar Peterson, and Max Roach—were losses keenly felt in my house. But other than mourning, there didn't seem to be as much going on with the music as there was with my other favorite genre, metal. (Chicago's Yakuza once again blended both—and threw in some other stuff, too—on their third full-length, Transmutations.) After some thought, though, I recalled 10 better-than-decent releases deserving, as jazz CDs so often do, a wider hearing.
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