1. John Ellis - By a Thread
I can't really explain it, but I think it's really evocative and I
could listen to it all day long.
2. Sonny Rollins - The Bridge
This record is really amazing, and I just love Without a Song--I don't know a lot about music, but it sounds so unassuming and still so wise and optimistic. The whole album seems to have a lot to say without being very self-serious or melodramatic... I love it!
3. Yaya3 - Yaya3
I like organs, I like Joshua Redman, and I like Sam Yahel--a LOT.
4. Brian Patneaude Quartet - Distance
They're some of the most talented people I've ever met, which still might not be as impressive if they didn't play so incredibly well together. If they had a live album I can almost guarantee it'd be in my top 2, but I need to stop before I sound too much like my jazz-bird sycophantic self. I also must admit that Brian and this album are largely responsible for sparking my own recently compulsive jazz habit.
5. Charlie Haden - Not in Our Name
I love it for being a really beautiful, understated, PATRIOTIC protest, but to my admittedly amateur ears, there are just some really neat arrangements of a some really wonderful songs. I have to admit that I also love it for saying "I don't think we're heading in the right direction" in a completely unoffensive way, and then playing some songs that remind us that we have a lot of history in common that doesn't belong to any party or point of view. It just sounds really, really good. And Throughout is a really neat Bill Frisell tune... I'm starting to wonder if this one belongs at Number 5 after all...