The reviewer's dilemma is the many CDs that are worthwhile to mention, but never get at the top of the pile for real deep and repeated listening. Very often the playing and the concepts, are full of character and sometimes even unique angles of approach, yet without offering the immediate surprise or gripping emotional delivery that will grab your servant by the throat (or the heart).
Yet not mentioning them would be a shame. After all, this reviewing of music is all really subjective stuff.
Pete Robbins’ “siLENT Z Live” (Hate Laugh Music, 2010)
Pete Robbins on alto, Jesse Neuman on cornet and effects, Mike Gamble on guitar and effects, Thomas Morgan on bass, Tyshawn Sorey on drums, and special guest pianist Cory Smythe. Great playing, great modern jazz, with some unexpected twists and rhythms, some rock and fusion angles.
Tommy Babin's Benzene - Your Body Is Your Prison (Drip Audio, 2010)
Tommy Babin on bass, Chad Makela on baritone saxophone, Chad MacQuarrie on guitar, Skye Brooks on drums. A true bassist's album, full of great rhythms, melodic too, with a great modern sound, quite subtle. Possibly the one I feel the worst about not actually reviewing it.
Walter Beltrami - Timoka (Re:Think-Art, 2009)
An equally interesting band from Italy, with Walter Beltrami on guitar, Francesco Bearzatti on sax and clarinet,
Roberto Bordiga on bass, and Markku Ounaskari on drums. Clever, subtle and creative. Dedicated to film director Ingmar Bergman.
But rather than describing it, just watch this unusually qualitative Youtube clip of the band (well filmed, several cameras, great sound).