Jazz it up: top jazz of 2009

Picks from Atlantic Jazz FestIval and JazzEast director Lulu Healy.

Jeff Torbert
This Weather Honest (independent)

Torbert's first release under his own name sends listeners on an improvisatory trip down the open roads of jazz and folk, bringing a stellar cast of Halifax's new guard of jazz players along as he makes serious headway on his compositional path.

Easley Stevenson Arsenault
Nine Steps (Superhigh)

This top-notch trio of the east coast's finest musicians has produced a solid collection of original and totally spirited blues-rooted jazz tunes (plus one beautiful Dylan cover).

Darcy James Argue
Secret Society Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam)

NYC's dynamic 18-piece steampunk big-band churns out seven original masterpieces that meld rock, classical and orchestral jazz on their debut studio recording.

Little Dragon
Machine Dreams (Peacefrog)

Swedish avant-guard pop quartet take the cult throne in the retro-synth kindom. Singer Yukimi Nagario's wispy croon ventures into a new frontier of electro-experimentalism, reviving the windswept atmospherics coined by Depeche Mode and Cocteau Twins.

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