My best of year end list is starting a tad early. The major releases (the numbers seemed down) are out although their may be one or two others that could get a serious look.
To begin: Label Of The Year - Rarenoise.
Artist of the Year - Lorenzo Fliciati and his solo effort Frequent Flyer, this virtuoso bassist is also my Dec. artist of the month. Other labels: Smooth - R.I.P , Contemporary - Concord. Straight Ahead - Posi-Tone and HighNote/Savant. World oriented - Motema.
Female vocalists, a tightly clustered pack with most of them incredibly forgettable finds some gems. Dena Derose wins hands down. While I took issue with some "gangsta" photos published on Nicky Shire's face book page - this is the price one pays for free speech. An incredibly close second would be cool for most people. Jana Herzen of Motema a well respected third place.
Male vocalist - Curtis Stigers. Monster blow up in your face record that just edges out Joe Pisto from Emarcy in Europe.
Best New Artistit - Iris Ornig - Acoustic Bass.
Latin Jazz - Pancho Sachez live at the Hollywood Bowl.
Trumpet - Terrell Stafford
Piano - Chick Corea
Drums - Carmen Intorre Jr. with a close second nod to Ulysses Owens Jr. and Ernesto Cervini.
Best new Independent Group - Myriad 3 followed by The Verge.
Saxophone - Ivo Perelman, Kenny Shanker Tore Brunborg
Contemporary Instrumental - Philip Denny and "Shilts."
Guitar - Mike Stern and John Abercrombie
Bass and Artist of the Year - Lorenzo Feliciati
Quartet - Rino Arbore
Sleep Of The Year - Orrin Evans / Flip The Script
Best "Hybrid" and Award of Merit for expanding the Modern Jazz Horizon - Hristo Vitchev
Best Independent Artist - Louis Durra