Favorite Album- "Ten", Jason Moran Trio. It's the critic's darling for a reason. Compelling from beginning to end. If you haven't heard it, go now.
Honorable Mention: "Never Stop", the Bad Plus. Their best yet- though I feel like almost every record has improved upon the last.
Favorite Gig to hear, local: The Bad Plus at Berklee. Again, the best I've heard them live. Any kitch that the band may have relied on in the past is giving way to a more seamless communication. And some of my favorite free playing in a long time.
Favorite Gig to Hear, elsewhere: Darcy James Argue's Secret Society at the Newport Jazz Festival. Readers know how much I love Darcy and his music, but something about playing Newport took the band to another level, a combination of excitement and determination. (And ego, I'm sure, a lot of folks in the band had husbands/wives/kids in tow on an amazing August day, something you don't always get to do.)
Favorite Blog Post- Ethan Iverson on Herbie and Wayne. (I think this one is from this year- it's the third one down. So well thought out, so well said.
Happy New Year everyone!