1) The Claudia Quintet - Royal Toast
2) The Bad Plus - Never Stop
3) Stephan Crump Rosetta Trio - Reclamation
4) Guillermo Klein - Domador de Huellas
5) Mary Halvorson - Saturn Sings
6) Dan Weiss Trio - Timshel
7) Mike Reed's People, Places and Things - Stories and Negotiations
8) Paul Motian - Lost in a Dream
9) Avishai Cohen - Introducing Triveni
10) Polar Bear - Peepers
When I look at this list, I feel a little embarrassed that there are no Latin, straight-ahead, or free jazz albums to be found. Well, the Guillermo Klein album is technically a Latin jazz album, but it's far removed from the traditional grooves that define the genre. The Mary Halvorson and Mike Reed discs have their free-ish moments, but the compositions steer the ship more than the improv on these recordings. A good portion of the Avishai Cohen swings, but it's nowhere near a proper straight-ahead album.
I can only conclude that my tastes, right now, tend towards music that doesn't fit neatly into any box. Maybe that's a good thing, maybe it's a bad thing, probably it's a little of both. It's telling that my overall number 1 album of the year, hands-down, was not anything by a jazz musician, but The Age of Adz by indie singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens. Parts electronica, classical, folk, avant-garde noise and rock and roll, the music is a genre unto itself. I guess, at this point, that's what my ears are most looking for. Maybe that'll change soon, but for now, the harder to describe, the better.