With 2011 almost over, it's time to highlight some of the year's best new releases. Here, we present highlights from jazz concerts that hit Wolfgang's Vault between January and June. Click on the links in the "Related Concerts" box below, or on the song/artist name in the pop-up player, for more information and to hear the entire shows. We hope you've enjoyed all the new music as much as we have - happy Vault digging!
1) After a few years off the scene, Miles Davis returned to public performances at the 1955 Newport Jazz Festival. Since he didn't have a working band at the time, George Wein added him to a jam session with Thelonious Monk, Zoot Sims, Gerry Mulligan, Percy Heath and Connie Kay.
2) In spite of representing different generations of jazz, George Wein thought Dixieland clarinetist Pee Wee Russell and Thelonious Monk took a similar, discordantly intervalic approach to playing, and so he set up this guest spot during Monk's 1963 Newport set.
3) Adderley's soulful jazz quintet of the '60s included his brother Nat, who penned the hard bop anthem, "Work Song."?
4) In 1965, Coltrane appeared at Newport with his classic quartet; this 1966 quintet, however, featured Alice Coltrane, Jimmy Garrison, Pharaoh Sanders, and Rashied Ali. The spiritual, hymn-like "Welcome" opens calmly before gradually building to dissonance and turbulence.
5) Stephane Grappelli paid tribute to his old bandmate with this Django Reinhardt medley recorded at San Francisco's Great American Music Hall in 1976.
6) This 1975 recording captures Bill Evans with Eddie Gomez on bass and Eliot Zigmund on drums. The delicate "Blue Serge" recalls the ethereal vibe that Evans added to Kind of Blue's "Flamenco Sketches."
7) Pat Metheny presaged the smooth jazz movement while displaying a melodic inventiveness and harmonic lushness that went beyond it as well.
8) Opening a 1971 Fillmore East bill that featured Tower of Power and Santana, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and His Vibration Society warmed up