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Rick Mitchell

13 Dec 2023 10:22 AM | Rick Mitchell

Here are thirty top albums played on my radio programs Jazz in the New Millennium (syndicated through the African American Public Radio Consortium) and The Motif (KBOO-FM, Portland, Oregon). Together, I think these albums help define a 21st Century mainstream, centered straight-ahead, bracketed by the avant-garde and funk/fusion, with a healthy infusion of Afro-Latin. What they also have in common is a strong rhythmic core. And so this year I have decided to give the drummers some by naming the drummers and percussionists on each album. 

Joshua Redman, where are we, Blue Note: (Brian Blade, drums)

Cecile McLoren Salvant, Melusine, Nonesuch: (Kyle Poole, Obed Calviere, drums; Weedie Bramah, percussion)

Joe Chambers, Dance Kobina, Blue Note: (Joe Chambers, drums; Emilio Valdez, percussion)

Tyshawn Sorey Trio, Continuing, Pi: (Tyshawn Sorey, drums)

Billy Childs, The Winds of Change, Mack Avenue: (Brian Blade, drums)

Mike Clark, Kosen Rufu, Wide Hive: (Mike Clark, drums; Bill Summers, percussion)

Sammy Figueroa, Searching for a Memory, Ashe: (Sammy Figueroa, percussion; Ludwig Afonso, drums)

Johnathan Blake, Passage, Blue Note: (Johnathan Blake, drums) 

Terrell Stafford, Between Two Worlds, Le Coq: (Johnathan Blake, drums; Alex Acuna, percussion)

Walter Smith III, Return to Casual, Blue Note: (Kendrick Scott, drums)

Kendrick Scott, Corridors, Blue Note: (Kendrick Scott, drums)

Artemis, In Real Time, Blue Note: (Allison Miller, drums)

Hilario Duran and his Latin Jazz Big Band, Cry Me a River, Alma: Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, drums; Jose Luis Torres, Magdelys Savigne, percussion)

Isiah J. Thompson, The Power of the Spirit, Blue Engine: (TJ Reddick, Domo Branch, drums)

Eddie Henderson, Witness to History, Smoke Sessions: (Lenny White, drums)

Orrin Evans, The Red Door, Smoke Sessions: (Marvin "Smitty" Smith, drums)

Dave Stryker Trio, Prime, Strike Zone: (McClenty Hunter, drums)

SuperBlue: Kurt Elling and Charlie Hunter, The Iridescent Spree, Edition: (Corey Fonville, drums)

John Scofield, Uncle John's Band, ECM: (Bill Stewart, drums)

Michael Feinberg, Blues Variant, Criss Cross: (Nasheet Waits, drums)

Ben Wolfe, Unjust, Resident Arts: (Aaron Kimmel, drums)

Cecilia Smith, The Mary Lou Williams Resurgence Project. Volume One, Innova: (Ron Savage, drums)

Joe Farnsworth, In What Directrion Are You Headed, Smoke Sessions: (Joe Farnsworth, drums)

Louis Hayes, Exactly Right, Savant: (Louis Hayes, drums)

Edmar Castenada World Ensemble, Viento Sur, self-released: (Marcelo Woloski, Rodrigo Villalon, percussion)

Jane Bunnett and Maqueque, Playing with Fire, Linus: (Yissy Garcia, drums; Mary Paz, percussion)

Harold Lopqz-Nussa, Timba a la Americana, Blue Note: (Ruy Adrian Lopez-Nussa, drums; Barbaro "Machito" Crespo, percussion) 

Noah Haidu, Standards, Sunnyside: (Lewis Nash, drums)

Lauren Henderson, Conjuring, Brontosaurus: (Joe Dyson, drums)

Leon Lee Dorsey, Cantaloupe Island, Jazz Avenue: (Mike Clark, drums) 

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