Jazz 100
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The Best Jazz Ever Released Digitally


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Power of Three
Michel Petrucciani
1986 [Blue Note]


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Despite being afflicted with glass bones disease Petrucciani managed to establish himself as one of contemporary jazz's premier pianists. Recorded live at the 1986 Montreux Jazz Festival, Petrucciani teams with guitarist Jim Hall for two exquisite duets. Saxophonist Wayne Shorter joins in on three numbers, the rest being pure Petrucciani.





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Blame It on My Youth
The Art Farmer Quintet
1988 [Contemporary]


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Flugelhornist Art Farmer has been one of the most consistent performers in jazz, making mainstream music that never strays too far from the middle of the road. Pianist James Williams, bassist Rufus Reid and drummer Victor Lewis are solid in support, earing the record a coveted 'crown' from highly-regarded The Penguin Guide to Jazz.





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Trio Jeepy
Branford Marsalis
1988 [Columbia]


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The other Marsalis brother is a versatile saxophonist who came of age in his own right with this exuberant outing from 1988. He is accompanied throughout most of the record by bassist Milt Hinton and regular drummer Jeff 'Tain' Watts. Branford established the Marsalis Music label in 2002 to help further the careers of other 'Young Lions'.





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MoodSwing
Joshua Redman
1994 [Warner]


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A key player in the 'Young Lions' movement, saxophonist Joshua Redman fully embraced the notion that jazz need not necessarily be an intellectual pursuit. Instead, it could very well be dripping with emotion and a lot of fun. This all-original set with pianist Brad Mehldau, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade proves the point.





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Bug Music
Don Byron
1996 [Nonesuch]


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Peaking at #4 on the Billboard jazz charts, this surprise hit from clarinetist Don Byron is a joy to behold. Bug Music consists of swing compositions from the 1930s, which Byron deftly converts into circus-like rollicking good fun. Most of the songs were penned by either Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, John Kirby or Raymond Scott.





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Tales From the Hudson
Michael Brecker
1996 [Impulse!]


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Michael Brecker was one of the most accessible saxophonists in jazz, often accused of being a crossover artist. This set should remove all doubt about his jazz creds. The Jack DeJohnette/Dave Holland rhythm section, guitarist Pat Metheney and pianist McCoy Tyner generally behave themselves, while Brecker creates some fabulous music.





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Sending My Love
Matthew Halsall
2008 [Gondwana]


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Hailing from Manchester, trumpeter Matthew Halsall turns in one of the most beautifully sublime jazz records made in the modern era. Halsall picked up the trumpet at just six years old after being taken to a jazz gig by his parents. He began touring internationally at age 13, making northwest England the centre of his regular gigging.





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Jazz in the Garden
The Stanley Clarke Trio
2009 [Heads Up]


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Considering his past excursions, this relatively straight-ahead album from double bassist Stanley Clark was a real surprise. Japanese-born pianist Hiromi is outstanding in support, while drummer Lenny White never gets in the way of letting Clarke's distinctive bass do the talking. It is difficult to pass up a trio with this kind of talent.


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