The new year is just around the corner. I thought it might be fun to launch a thread where we can discuss the recordings that we've discovered and enjoyed in 2017. Rather than limiting the discussion to music that was released in 2017, I suggest that we expand it to include anything that we've discovered this year, regardless of when it was released. The music may not be new -- but if you discovered it in 2017, then it's "new to you."
Here's what I came up with:
David Friedman - Of the Wind's Eye (Enja, 1981)
The compositions are all Friedman originals, and the line-up is killer -- Jane Ira Bloom, Harvie Swartz and Daniel Humair. The sound quality is ridiculously good, and the sonics add to the powerful musical effect.
Art Pepper - The Maiden Voyage Sessions, Vol. 3 (Galaxy, 1984)
Prime late-in-the-game Pepper; with George Cables, David Williams, and Carl Burnett.
Jack Walrath - Wholly Trinity (Muse, 1988)
This LP has a wonderful Ornette-like vibe. Walrath dispenses with the piano, paring the group down to a trio consisting of his trumpet, Chip Jackson's bass, and Jimmy Madison's drums. The music is thrusting and powerful. Walrath's personality -- quirky, puckish, serious -- shines through.
Eddie Palmieri – Vamonos Pa'l Monte (Tico, 1971) Mongo Santamaria - Mongo at Montreux (Atlantic, 1971) Poncho Sanchez - Poncho (Discovery, 1979)
I've spent quite a bit of time listening to Latin Jazz this year. These three are the new-to-me recordings that I've enjoyed the most.
JD Allen - Radio Flyer (Savant, 2017)
One of only a few new releases that I bought this year. Allen's working trio throws down. Adding guitarist Liberty Ellman to the mix takes the music even higher.
Joe Lovano Us Five - Bird Songs (Blue Note, 2011)
I like how Lovano and his band transform these ultra-familiar Charlie Parker songs into something new. The band features two drummers, and it works surprisingly well in a clattery sort of way.
Michel Petrucciani/Ron McClure - Cold Blues (Owl, 1985) Aldo Romano - Ritual (Owl, 1988) Ed Sarath - Voice of the Wind (Owl, 1990)
Three from Jean-Jacques Pussiau's Owl label. I was drawn to all three by the pianists. Petrucciani is obvious. Romano's CD features Franco D'Andrea and Sarath's features Joanne Brackeen.
Russ Freeman/Shelly Manne - One on One (Contemporary, 1982)
I discovered this music when another forum member posted something about it on this site. Fun to hear the unusual instrumentation of a piano/drums duo. Manne's musicality leaps out.
Enrico Pieranunzi - Perugia Suite (EGEA, 2002) Wadada Leo Smith's Golden Quartet - The Year of the Elephant (Pi, 2002)
My favorite new-to-me discoveries of 2017. Musically, they're very dissimilar -- but both succeed in conveying a sense of vastness and wonder. Powerful music!
And outside the world of jazz:
Mahler - Symphony No. 7 / Boulez, Cleveland O (DG, 1996)
Boulez's transparent textures and the Cleveland Orchestra's virtuosity make this "problematic" symphony seem almost inevitable.
Rush - Snakes and Arrows (Anthem/Atlantic, 2007)
70s prog rock lives!
So how about you? What has knocked you out this year???
By the way, don't feel compelled to create a big list. If you want to name one record (or artist), that's fine. If you want to list twenty, that's fine too. Whatever. No rules -- other than telling us what you've discovered & dug in 2017.
And if you don't like list-type threads . . . well, you don't get to play.