Happy New Year! I wish you the best in 2004.
Looking back on 2003 in modern jazz, one phrase sums is up: Trumpeters Gone Wild! It’s the year that
- Nicholas Payton went fusion with Sonic Trance
- Roy Hargrove presents Hard Groove
- Dave Douglas had a Freak In
- Russell Gunn continued his challenging of the definition of jazz with Ethnomusicology Volume 3
- Erik Truffaz defined jazz-rock fusion for me with The Walk of the Giant Turtle
- Randy Brecker puts together a killer horn section and releases a Brecker Brothers CD under his name on 34th N Lex
In jazz overall, it was the year of the vocalist. You’ve seen it in several publications – jazz vocalists are outselling instrumental music even if you don’t calculate the Norah Jones factor in. On the Billboard Jazz chart, eight of the top ten selling albums of the year are vocals. That doesn’t include Norah and Lizz Wright who are in the top ten on the Contemporary Jazz chart. That trend won’t let evaporate in 2004, with a new Norah Jones CD in February and a new Diana Krall CD in April.