Who Are the Best Young Lions of Jazz Today?

The Wynton Marsalis thread got me to thinking. Some consider him the best jazz artist today. I actually don't know who the best jazz artist is today or who the best jazz artists are since I'm steeped in the past listening to Hard Bop like a mad man. The jazz I love, the musicians I love, the heroes and gods for me are guys like Miles, Monk, Sonny Rollins, Coltrane, Joe Henderson, Horace Silvers, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Fredie Hubbard, Dexter Gordon, Bill Evans, Lee Morgan, Hank Mobley and others. My wife gets aggravated since I repeatedly play these giants.

I don't pay much attention to contemporary / modern jazz artists with the exception of John Scofield, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Pat Metheny, all who I've seen multiple times and love.

I've listened to Roy Hargrove, Christian McBride and have enjoyed their work. I've heard a little of Marsalis.

Who are the best of the Young Lions of Jazz? I know Marsalis is "in the conversation."
Jon Irabagon...Young-talented-no "baggage"- Think of a bright new voice on the alto saxophone with roots in the Bop masters.
What is the cutoff point for "young lion"-? Got to be 25 or so,if that be the case some of the artists mentioned are in their forties with tons of recordings to their credit.
Jazzcourier, I guess I should have said "Contemporary" Lions instead of Young Lions.
Here's a few of my recent picks in no particular order:

Marcus Strickland - Idiosyncracies (2009 Strick Music)

Sam Yahel - Hometown (this is a fantastic record for both performance AND sound quality)(2009 Positone)

ACT (Ben Wendeel, Harish Raghavan & Nate Wood) on the BJUR Label (BJUR 011) - this one might be a little hard to find but it's really worth it. A little far out but very accessible.

John Roney Trio -Rate of Change (2005 Effendi)

Wayne Escoffery - Hopes and Dreams (2007 Savant)

Frank Catalano - Cut It Out?! (1997 Demalrk)

Sunny Jain Collective - Mango Festival (2004 Zoho)

The KindofBlue label is putting out some really excellent recordings.

John Zorn's Tzadik label has been very prolific recently. The recordings are excellent and the music goes from mild to wild, but all very high quality. Alhambra Love Songs (Tzadik 2009) is excellent.

Jerry Bergonzi - Simply Put (2009-Savant)

Anouar Brahem - The Astounding Eyes of Rita (2009 - ECM)

These folks arent't all "young" but they are all playing now and putting out some fantastic music. I'm sure I'm missing some new stuff that's excellent too.
Some younger players who are worth checking out include:
J.D. Allen- Tenor
Vijay Iyer- Piano
Steve Lehman- Alto
Tyshawn Sorey- Drums
Mary Halvorson- Guitar
Add Joshua Redman to the list. Check out his Freedom in the Groove and Live at the Village Vangard albums
The question seems to ask who is rehashing the old young lions. Hope I'm wrong about this since it's a lot more interesting to hear artists who are stretching themselves and finding something that works. There's a difference between a player w/rote technical prowess and someone who is working at the edge of what they know, (age doesn't necessarily mean your stuck in the mud as a musician)...Here are a few to chew on:
Ken Vandermark
Jason Kao Hwang
John Hollenback
Lucas Niggli
Kevin Norton
Rich Halley
Tony Malaby
Ben Goldberg
Ellery Eskelin
David Fiuczynski
Tim Berne
Marc Ducret
Pierre Labbe
Hamid Drake
Akineton Retard
Fortunately there are a hell of a lot more.
I was thinking this was a good one for you Duane.

Me and Duane just sat about 10 ft away as a group of us circled Rudresh Mahanthappa, Mark Dresser and Gerry Hemmingway as they played a couple of very memorable sets for us at a free concert at the UC Davis campus.

Truth is there are TONS of talented jazz artists out there that are unkonwn. Start chipping away at Duane's list. You've got great things to look forward to.
Stefon Harris, Harry Allen
A big second for Joshua Redman, energy and finesse in one package, a rarity. Add James Carter to the list. Also Michel Camilo (not young enough?) and don't forget Branford Marsalis, far more adventurous than his brother.
03-18-10: Duanegoosen
The question seems to ask who is rehashing the old young lions. Hope I'm wrong about this since it's a lot more interesting to hear artists who are stretching themselves and finding something that works.
No, not a rehash of the old lions. In my opinion, what they accomplished cannot be duplicated. What I'm interested in are the talented players of today that are producing straight ahead jazz at a higher level; Jazz in the purest sense, not this popular and artificial "pseudo-jazz" that has been coined "smooth jazz." You know, Dave Coz and the like. And thanks to all the jazz lovers who posted.

One of the younger artists I really love is James Carter. Check him out.
Some good suggestions already. I'd also check out Dave Holland, if I were you.
As a good resource for reviews of current jazz releases, check out www.allaboutjazz.com There are more suggestions here than you will know what to do with. As far as young lions of Jazz today, here are a few that haven't been mentioned: Kurt Rosenwinkel, Chris Potter, Brian Blade, Brad Mehldau, Nicholas Payton, all of the guys in past and present versions of the SF Jazz Collective, Astral Project (out of New Orleans)...those are just a few off the top of my head. Oh, Hendrik Meurkens is a little known gem. Also, the ECM label seems to be real good at finding artists who propel the music forward. Another suggestion: keep and eye on who's playing at the Village Vanguard (in NY). Their artist roster surely will include the top tier jazz guys.
Dafnis Prieto! One of the greatest drummers EVER!
Give Kenny Garrett a listen!
Brad Mehldau (piano)
Tord Gustafsson (piano)
Myra Melford (piano)
A few months ago, I saw a young Cuban pianist named Alfredo Rodriguez open for McCoy Tyner. I really enjoyed his set - very passionate, also very lively, and far from "cookie cutter".
Some of the old fogeys are making great records too. Ahmad Jamal's new album is fantastic!
Jerico, I do listen to Kenny Garrett. Would love to see him in concert. Jerico have you heard Gonzalo Rubalcaba? He's pretty incredible at the piano too.

I will check out the Ahmad Jamal album Grimace.
I haven't heard Gonzalo, but I'll check it out (right now, actually)! Thanks
IMHO, there are many Young gifted Jazz players;
Below are some of the few, I have been luck enough
to see in person.

Dennis Chambers-Drums
Alex Bugnun-Piano
George Duke-Piano
Joe Sample-Piano
Meshell Ndege'Ocello_Bass
Philipe Saisse- Piano
Greg Karukas- Piano
Brian Bromberg-Bass
Michel Camilo-Piano
Gerald Veasley-Bass
Jeff Lorber-Piano
Brian Culbertson-Piano
Bireli Lagrene-Guitar
Russ Freeman- Guitar
Ramsey Lewis-Piano
David Benoit-Piano
Chris Botti-Trumpet
Victor Wooten-Bass
Paul Taylor-Sax
Rick Braun-Trumpet
Keiko Matsui-Piano
Marcus Miller-Bass
Simon Phillips-Drums
Lee Ritenour-Guitar
Anthony Jackson-Contra-Bass
Steve Khan-Guitar
Branford Marsalis- Sax
Steve Rodby-Bass
Lyle Mays-Piano
Dave Koz-Sax
Great List! But not a single 'young lion' to be found on it!
Chazro...“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”

“A man is getting along on the road to wisdom when he begins to realize that his opinion is just an opinion.”

You do not have to agree, But don't say they are not as

gifted or talented as the list, that Foster 9, the Forum

Poster started.

Especially, if you have Never witnessed them perform.


James Carter is all of forty-one years old. He's a younger lion than I am. Growl...
BJ - You're misunderstanding me, I never said they weren't gifted or talented. Many of the artists you listed are favorites of mine also, and I HAVE seen quite a few of them in person. My point is that 85-95% of those listed have been making music for a loooong time, 3-5 decades! Perhaps we disagree on the definition of the term; 'young lion'.
Bill Charlap

Of all the pianists I've heard since Bill Evans, Charlap is the one who most excites me. Has two trios - Bill Chalap Trio and New York Trio - and also plays with a lot of other leading players and singers as he is in much demand.

To me he is a throwback in that he almost exclusively plays jazz standards. There is a thoughtfulness and nuance to his improv that reminds me of Evans, though without the melancholy of Evans,
Tineke Postma
Avishai Cohen (bass)
Avishai Cohen (trumpet)
Anat Cohen
Orbert Davis
Dawyne Dolphin
Justin Young
Esperanza Spaulding
Darren Rahn
Gonzalo Rubalcaba
Sean Jones
Brain Blade
Ron Blake
Sheryl Bailey

Just to name a few more. I'll be back with more. Let's not forget all those female young lionesses too.

It is not very new, but check out Rick Braun's Beat Street.
Foster_9, I have been so unsucessful in finding anything new, that I go through my entire musical collection, and start all over again. If you discover anything, please let me know.
Hi Orpheus10, I haven't been spending much time seeking out "Contemporary Lions of Jazz," even though it has been my intention. I continue to spin the Old school Hard Bop. But I've heard a few young guys and I can highly recommend pianist, Gonzalo Rubalcaba. He is incredible.
Omer Avital
Jason Lindner
Esperanza Spalding
Avishai Cohen (both of em)
Francisco Mela
Uri Gurvich
Eric Harland
Darren Johnston
Foster_9, can you recommend a specific CD?
Orpheus10, "Discovery Live at Montreux." From there you can try others, but that will get you started.

I also really like the tone of Kenny Garrett, who played with Miles near the end, but I have not heard a disc by him yet that really blows me away. But then too I have not heard all his stuff either.
Foster_9, Kenny garret, "Beyond the Wall". This is a take on China and Tibet. Not every cut is boss, but a few are worth the price of the ticket.
My vote for "Best Young Lions" of jazz would be Joshua Redman, Eric Harland, and Brad Mehldau. Simply brilliant musicians all under 40.

My vote for jazz "Lions" would be Charles LLoyd, Dave Holland, Kieth Jarrett, Branford Marsalis. Simply brilliant musicians, all over 40.

My vote for "Best Young" jazz artists (under 40 but not quite as brilliant as those above) would be:
Aaron Goldberg
Rueben Rodgers
Esperanza Spalding
Avashi Cohen
Nicolas Payton
Eric Reed
Jason Moran
Chris Potter
Aaron Parks
Robert Glasper
Gretchen Parlato