Reflections on a great year of jazz music – MSR News Online
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Reflections on a great year of jazz music – MSR News Online

MSR News Online
The Voice of Black Minnesota since 1934.
Once again, it’s time to ring in the new year, which means I’m thinking of my top 2022 albums of the year.
There was so much music to process in 2022. For the most part, all the music that I listened to had an uplifting quality and gave me a good reason to look forward with hope and renewal. That was the common thread of all albums.
Here’s my list, checked it twice.
Top 10 Albums of 2022
December birthdays include the two late great jazz musicians, Frank Morgan and Bobby Timmons.
Morgan was well-known as a Charlie Parker successor. His career playing alto and soprano saxophones lasted for over 50 years. Morgan was born on December 23, 1935, in Minneapolis, MN. One of my favorite recordings featuring Morgan is “City Nights: Live at the Jazz Standard.”
On this particular album, he plays a killer version of “Round Midnight.” What I remember about Morgan is how much he loved Ella Fitzgerald’s voice. I drove him home one night and the radio was on, while Ella sang a song, Morgan said with wonder that she has the most beautiful voice.
Bobby Timmons was born on December 19, 1935, in Philadelphia, PA. He was a hardbop jazz pianist and worked as a sideman in drummer Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Timmons also played vibraphone. His sound was a powerful mix of gospel, blues & hardbop. “Moaning” is one of his well-known compositions, but I love him the most on Lee Morgan’s album for his playing on the soulful tune, “These are Soulful Days.” Check him out.
Over the holidays, I enjoyed watching “The Best Man Final Chapters” directed by Malcolm D. Lee. Pianist Robert Glasper, bassist Derrick Hodge, and drummer Chris Dave did an excellent job with the musical score. All men are well-known in the jazz world for their superb talent. Perhaps the reason that they sounded so good together is that all are familiar with each other as they have collaborated many times.
Glasper is set to perform at the Dakota for three nights on Jan. 27 to 29. His special blend of contemporary jazz, hip-hop, and neo-soul is something to look forward to hearing as it’s not every year that we get to hear from Glasper. For tickets, visit www.dakotacooks.com.
My new year’s resolution is to listen to even more music from a variety of genres and get out to hear more live jazz. I’m looking forward to what’s to come in the jazz world and you should, too.
No matter what, all through these long winter months, there’s an opportunity for some close listening and celebrating all there is to offer from this great tradition.
Here’s to a fantastic 2023. Happy New Year!

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