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The Best Albums of 2010: Kevin Le Gendre

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Mike Diver Mike Diver | 12:24 UK time, Thursday, 16 December 2010

Journalist and author Kevin Le Gendre is one of the UK's foremost authorities on jazz. As well as appearing in a critical capacity on Radios 3 and 4, he regularly contributes to the BBC Album Reviews. He has previously written for titles including the Guardian and the Independent. Find his BBC reviews here, and his favourite five albums of 2010 below...

Claudia Quintet - Royal Toast
Its unusual line-up (drums, bass, vibraphone, accordion, clarinet/tenor sax) makes for fresh, idiosyncratic textures. But above all the composing and arranging, which square the circle between Steve Reich, Soft Machine and Ornette Coleman, are both bracing and blissful.
Read the BBC review and listen to previews

Steve Coleman and Five Elements - Harvesting Semblances and Affinities
Great return to the studio of one of the significant figures of 80s jazz. Backed by younger players, Coleman unveils typically idiosyncratic compositions and plays vigorous, edgy alto saxophone.
Read the BBC review and listen to previews

Jason Moran - Ten
Tenth anniversary celebration of a piano great in contemporary jazz. The empathy between Moran and co-pilots, bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits, has brought strikingly personal inflections to both the blues and the avant-garde.
Read the BBC review and listen to previews

Robert Mitchell & Panacea - The Cusp
Possibly the British pianist's strongest offering to date. The addition of strings and percussion gives the sound palette grace and dynamism, as Mitchell negotiates classical, Afro-Latin and funky fusion with aplomb.
Read the BBC review and listen to previews

Jacob Anderskov - Agnostic Revelations
A thrilling exponent of Danish jazz, pianist Anderskov leads a grade A US group (drummer Gerald Cleaver, bassist Michael Formanek, saxophonist Chris Speed) through a set of original music that is both poignant and tense.
(No BBC profile available)
MySpace (external link)

Read all of our Best Albums of 2010 content (including entries from Steve Lamacq, Gideon Coe, Mike Harding and Bob Harris)

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