A little later than I wanted, but I have the Best Albums of September finalized. I found the overall options to be a bit small this month, but still lots of diverse and interesting albums, including an album of the year candidate. So without further to do, here are the Best Albums of September.


Joshua Redman & Brad Mehldau: Nearness


A duet album of Joshua Redman & Brad Mehldau top my Best of September lost. This album is nothing short of magnificent. The interaction, the solos, the overall musicianship is at a supreme level. Plenty of jazz standards on this album that get a refreshing new take with this instrumentation. I have loved essentially everything Joshua Redman has done. I can’t say the same about Brad Mehldau. Sometimes I feel like he is so… precise with his soloing that, while its technically impressive, it leaves me emotionless. Not the case on this record. I find his playing to be absolutely wonderful and I think it’s one of his finest recordings. Buy, support, and listen to this immediately.


Bob Mintzer: All L.A. Band


Those who know me well know I’m not a big fan of Big Band music. Nothing personally it just rarely intrigues me. I have no desire to listen to or play that style of jazz. I prefer small combos. Still, every now and then a recording comes along that draws me into Big Band music. Bob Mintzer All L.A. Band is such a recording. This album flows well, has great solos, and diverse styles of jazz music within it. There’s swing, Latin, funk, you name it it’s here. Tracks that I feel you should absolutely check out are EL CABOROJENO and ORIGINAL PEOPLE.


Ben Wendel: What We Bring 


Didn’t know much about Ben Wendel prior to listening to this, but he is certainly on my radar now. The composing and arranging on this album is what really drew me in. There is incredible energy and balance on this album. Most months this would have been the best album of the month, but NEARNESS just edges this one out. Still, this is a great recording and should not be missed. A couple of my favorite tracks are “Soli” and “Solar”.






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