Jazz 100
Rhythm Masters
The Best Jazz Ever Released Digitally


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Bass Desires
Marc Johnson
1986 [ECM]


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Before the 'ECM Sound' had taken full shape, founder Manfred Eicher specialised in producing seemingly unusual combinations of jazz musicians in a unique sort of way. Here it is bassist Marc Johnson leading a unit that features stylistically different guitarists Bill Frisell and John Scofield. The result this timelessly beautiful album.





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The Peach Orchard
William Parker
1998 [AUM Fidelity]


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This double live album from New York bassist William Parker's In Order to Survive helped to keep the free jazz flame burning. On baoard are pianist Cooper Moore, alto saxophonist Rob Brown and inventive percussionist Susie Ibarra. For those who prefer their music rhythmic and easy on the ear, this might be a tad bit challenging.





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Prime Directive
Dave Holland Quintet
1999 [ECM]


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The very Star Trek title of this album comes from double bassist Dave Holland's statement: "If itís not fun, weíve got to do something different. Thatís got to be the prime directive of this band." Chris Potter plays various saxophones in support and overall it is easy to sense that the album certainly lives up to Holland's guiding mantra.





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Perceptual
Brian Blade Fellowship
2000 [Blue Note]


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A progressive group effort from Bladeís Fellowship ensemble, with the drummer showing he has learned plenty from playing with non-jazz artists like Seal, Emmylou Harris and Bob Dylan. The album spans a range of styles and there is an occasional hint of Bladeís Louisiana roots. Keyboardist Jon Cowhred shares compositional duties.





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O'Neal's Porch
William Parker Quartet
2001 [AUM Fidelity]


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This album is not as conventionally challenging as some of bassist William Parker's previous efforts, but it still proves he is at the vanguard of New York's avant-garde scene. Lewis Barnes provides support on trumpet, with sideman Rob Brown on alto saxophone and Hamid Drake banging the drums. Parker's best in the studio.





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Extended Play: Live at Birdland
Dave Holland Quintet
2003 [ECM]


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Bassist Dave Holland topped off a string of fine albums with this outstanding live double-CD by his current quintet. The title gives away what's on offer, with only one of nine tracks coming in under ten minutes. Also atypical, instead of sax-man Chris Potter grabbing the limelight, this time around it is trombonist Robin Eubanks.





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Gently Disturbed
Avishai Cohen Trio
2008 [Razdaz]


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After graduating from Chick Corea's sextet, Israeli-born Avishai Cohen has proven to be one of the most innovative bassists and composers in jazz today. His trio includes pianist Shai Maestro and drummer Mark Guiliana. AllMusic reviewer Jeff Tamarkin notes the set is, "...never less than exciting, always seductive, and often quite challenging."





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Season of Changes
Brian Blade Fellowship
2008 [Verve]


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Brian Blade's latest outing with his Fellowship band shows the drummer maturing and, to a certain degree, mellowing. Most of the personnel from Perceptual (2000) are back - guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, saxophonists Myron Walden and Melvin Butler, and bassist Chris Thomas. The result is consummate jazz played to perfection.


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