Peter Brotzmann is 70 years old and he's playing is a smoking as ever, powerfull and captivating. Fantastic concert during Autumn Jazz Festival plus at least one great cd (which I will write about soon).
Mikolaj Trzaska's solo concert was one of the most intense performances I have ever seen as well as Ha Tichona trio in Alchemia which were just two of many occasions I had to see Mikolaj live. Add to that a couple of great cds (Inner Ear - "Breathing Steam" being the latest). I invite you to read the interview I had a pleasure to conduct.
Ivo Perelman's playing is something absolutely unique. His quartet's recording ""The Hour of the Star" confirms his position as one of the best sax players around.
Taylor Ho Bynum
I already put Andrzej Przybielski as one of the most important artists of the last year and it's even more obvious if we think about trumpet players. 2011 saw not only Andrzej's death but also an entire set post mortem releases featuring absolutely great music.
Dennis Gonzalez convinced me with his playing "The Hymn Project" - lyrical, captivating and adventerous.
Taylor Ho Bynum solos on the stage with The Edge quartet put some fabulous solos - possibly the best trumpet performance I have seen on stage last year (and one of only few)
James Falzone's Klang - "The Other Doors" is a thoughtfull tribute to Benny Goodman and contains some fantastic clarinet sounds.
Waclaw Zimpel continues his development, this year he released new Undivided "Moves Between the Clouds" with Perry Robinson, Reed Trio - "Last Train to the First Station" with Mikolaj Trzaska nad Ken Vandermark, new Hera - "Where My Complete Beloved Is", participated in Resonance Project, plus gave some fantastic concerts with Hera, Ircha Clarinet Quartet, Undivided, Michael Zerang. Check the interview.
Perry Robinson appears on aforementioned Undivided cd but he also appeared in Poznan during the Tzadik Festival, both with Undivided, with a new special quartet project, plus kicking some ass during the jam sessions.
Henrik Munkeby Norstebo
Samuel Blaser charmed with a solo concert in Krakow, delighted with his quartet cd "Consort in Motion" dedicated to baroque music and finally confirmed his position with a "Boundless" released on Hat Hut (to be reviewed soon).
Henrik Munkeby played in Krakow with a pretty great young scandinavian trio, on which occasion I also got his "Solo" cd featuring some pretty great trombone playing.
Jeb Bishop plays some stunningly beautifull solos with Predella Group led by Ken Vandermark. Nough said.
One of the best cds of 2011 and some jaw-dropping virtuoso violin playing - Ig Henneman Sextet "Cut a Caper".
Szilard Mezei's folk-classical-jazz vision and playing can be appreciated on his trio's outing "Tisza" and intriguing wind quartet release "Innen" both cds easily recommended.
Tom Swafford on "Kef" is simply on fire, sparks flying of the instrument. Fiery, fierce, energetic and passionate playing.
Fred Lonberg Holm
Obviously not the only cd he released on 2011 but Fred's gets his spot in particular for his playing on "Strade D'Acqua" with Vandermark's Predella Group. Pure beauty.
Daniel Levin's passion and virtuosity was almost palpable when he played in Alchemia last year, played like in trance, played with almost destructive passion.
Henna Chou's deserves infinite appraisal for her input to Gonzalez / Haker Flaten - "The Hymn Project".