As the 80s gave way to the 90s radio-friendly, and retro-swing began to dominate, and would do so for years. Canonization of jazz classics were also coming into style, The Ultimate Collection, Complete ____ Sessions, Very Best of ____, and other ways of doing were suddenly over shadowing what was happening...they still are. (see Charts on 50th Anniversary of Kind of Blue, CMJ.) Apart from the likes of David Sanborn, the Rippingtons, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, a few still managed to push onward into the decade. Experimental big band, though not invented in the 80s, makes this list. Ornette Coleman accompanies Howard Shore, NRG Ensemble blasts out in Chicago, and David Moss' Theoria was a 5 part ECM album bordering on neo-classical. Steve Lacy holds down the soprano sax on We See. Edging it out is Englishman John Surman, hot off the presses with Adventure Playground - results of sessions with Gary Peacock and Paul Bley.

  1. John Surman - Adventure Playground
  2. Steve Lacy - We See: Thelonious Monk Songbook
  3. Ornette Coleman and Howard Shore - Naked Lunch Soundtrack
  4. Anthony Braxton - Victoriaville '92
  5. NRG Ensemble - The Finnish/Swiss Tour
  6. Thomas Chapin Trio - Insomnia
  7. Edward Vessala - Invisible Storm
  8. David Moss - Theoria


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