My assessment of the best albums of 2007 has to be skewed by the fact that I’ve heard so few of them. several likely candidates turned out to have been released in 2006 or even 2005. Of those I have heard, my favourite is definitely “Amoroso – Only More So” by Norma Winstone, Stan Tracey and Bobby Wellins. Living Cultural Treasures, all three of them.
I’ve also got a lot of time for “Six by Six” by the Paul Towndrow Sextet. Fine playing by some of Scotland’s top young players, and interesting arrangements by Towndrow. If I’d one criticism, I’d say that it’s a bit unrelentingly intense, even on the ballads: they need to learn that you can play great jazz without having everything turned up to eleven (metaphorically).
Another two are worth at least an honourable mention, although I bought them too late in the year to have got beyond first impressions: “Exit Strategy” by local electric freebop trio Trianglehead (with guitarist Graeme Stephen guesting on a few tracks), and “My Foolish Heart” by the Keith Jarrett Trio with Jack DeJohnette and Gary Peacock.