CraigP

Top Releases of 2013

77 posts in this topic

I'm a great fan of Barry Guy New Orchestra, but the box is not so great imho because is that band only in a few pieces, Parker/Guy/Lytton and other formations are outstanding, but I missed the whole formation, only my point of view.

I also miss the full band but I am hoping we get a release of the full band when they played during that time and hopefully Not Two will release the music as the music released on Mad Dogs is recorded with the highest sound quality of any jazz/improvisation recording I've ever heard.

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I'll weigh in. Some of these have already been mentioned, but I think it just shows that a consensus is emerging. To get to it:

Barry Guy, MAD DOGS (Not Two). The only fly in this ointment is the imaginative and even attractive, but woefully ineffective "box set" (no box) packaging, that left the CDs in a scratched heap at the bottom of the shipping container. But the music is great.

Peter Brotzmann, LONG STORY SHORT (Trost). A great box set (actually in a box!) that will take a long time to absorb.

The next four are given as a group. They were all released by NO BUSINESS, perhaps the best small label (but with an increasing portfolio of excellent releases) going today. All 4 are quite excellent:

Tchicai, TRIBAL GHOST

Gustafsson, CORRECTION

Brackeen, MELODIC ART-TET

Parker, Guy, Lytton, LIVE AT MAYA RECORDING FESTIVAL

While we are mentioning Parker, VAINCU.VA!: LIVE AT WESTERN FRONT, a previously unreleased 1978 live solo performance by Parker, who is at the height of his powers.

Another outstanding release: Braxton, ECHO ECHO MIRROR HOUSE. Does anyone doubt Braxton's greatness in the history of modern music?

Others in no particular order (all excellent):

Joe McPhee, DECOY (Otoruku)

Kris Davis, CAPRICORN CLIMBER (Clean Feed)

Wooley, SEVEN STOREY MOUNTAIN, III-IV, (Pleasure of the Text Records)

Peter Evans, ROCKET SCIENCE, with Evan Parker (More is More). Parker had a very good year on record!

Mary Halvorson, ILLUSIONARY SEA (Firehouse 12)

DKV Trio + Gustaffson, Paal ilssen-Love and Maximo Pupillo, SCHL8OF (Trost).

I'm sure I forgot some, but these are the ones that really stood out for me.

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I'm thoroughly enjpying reading these lists. Prompts to seek the unheard, reminders to relisten to the ignored and nods of recognition for the shared.

Keep 'em coming

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World

Mulatu Astatke, Sketches of Ethiopia (Jazz Village)

Bombino, Nomad (Nonesuch)

Buika, La Noche Mas Larga (Warner Latina)

Adriana Calcanhotto, Microbio Vivo (Minha Musica)

Dieuf-Dieul de Thies, Aw Sa Yone Vol. 1 (Teranga Beat)

Greek Rhapsody, Instrumental Music from Greece 1905-1956 (Dust to Digital)

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba, Jama Ko (Out Here)

Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo de Cotonou, volume 3, The Skeletel Essences of Afro Funk, 1969-1980 (Analog Africa)

Leni Stern, Jelell

Lobi Traore, Bamako Nights, Live at Bar Bozo 1995 (Glitterhouse)

Rokia Traore, Beautiful Africa (Nonesuch)

Edited by kh1958

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World

Mulatu Astatke, Sketches of Ethiopia (Jazz Village)

Bombino, Nomad (Nonesuch)

Buika, La Noche Mas Larga (Warner Latina)

Adriana Calcanhotto, Microbio Vivo (Minha Musica)

Dieuf-Dieul de Thies, Aw Sa Yone Vol. 1 (Teranga Beat)

Greek Rhapsody, Instrumental Music from Greece 1905-1956 (Dust to Digital)

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba, Jama Ko (Out Here)

Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo de Cotonou, volume 3, The Skeletel Essences of Afro Funk, 1969-1980 (Analog Africa)

Leni Stern, Jelell

Lobi Traore, Bamako Nights, Live at Bar Bozo 1995 (Glitterhouse)

Rokia Traore, Beautiful Africa (Nonesuch)

Oh bloody 'ell - must get a few of those.

Thanks Ken (GRRRR!!!)

MG

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The Matana Roberts disc stands out for me amongst the new releases this year. I enjoy the releases from independent labels like Clean Feed, NoBusiness, and others, but I have also been paying more attention to other genres, like African music and metal, the latter I think is the real story of 2013, of a resurgence in talent and real solid albums by bands old and new.

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Although I see a lot of music there I haven't heard that could be excellent, I'm discounting any list that doesn't include Barry Guy New Orchestra Small Formations, 'Mad Dogs' on not two. It's a five disc set, maybe people just haven't heard it. Extraordinary release. Also the duets of Roscoe Mitchell with Tyshawn Sorey and special guest Hugh Ragin on Wide Hive are ear opening.

Thanks. I have not mentioned the Roscoe release 'cause it would seem self serving. It is a fine recording.

well I'm interested in Roscoe and only have so much money. He's had a number of releases including a Rogue Art. Which one tops the list ?

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The Matana Roberts disc stands out for me amongst the new releases this year. I enjoy the releases from independent labels like Clean Feed, NoBusiness, and others, but I have also been paying more attention to other genres, like African music and metal, the latter I think is the real story of 2013, of a resurgence in talent and real solid albums by bands old and new.

I like her playing alot, but a significant part of the vocals on Coin Coin Chapter 2 were not at all to my liking; it pretty much sunk the project for me.

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Although I see a lot of music there I haven't heard that could be excellent, I'm discounting any list that doesn't include Barry Guy New Orchestra Small Formations, 'Mad Dogs' on not two. It's a five disc set, maybe people just haven't heard it. Extraordinary release. Also the duets of Roscoe Mitchell with Tyshawn Sorey and special guest Hugh Ragin on Wide Hive are ear opening.

Thanks. I have not mentioned the Roscoe release 'cause it would seem self serving. It is a fine recording.

well I'm interested in Roscoe and only have so much money. He's had a number of releases including a Rogue Art. Which one tops the list ?

The Rogue Art session looks like Roscoe composed pieces and played them with Nicole Mitchell's group. The Live at A Space is a Sackville reissue. There is a quartet with Lateef, Ewart, and Rudolf entitled Voice Prints that is lower energy and intensity but in its own way just as good a listen as the duets/trios with Sorey and Ragin. Beautifully recorded, too. I recommend that one as well. Save up and get it next year.

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Also a double vinyl with Tony Marsh and John Edwards on Oto, great but expensive, and Not Yet, more composed pieces on Mutable.

For me, the Duets with Sorey are the first election.

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Matana Roberts – Coin Coin Chapter Two: Mississippa Moonchile (Constellation)
— With Shoko Nagai, Jason Palmer, Jeremiah Abiah, Thomson Kneeland, Tomas Fujiwara
MI0003614138.jpg

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It's just impossible to keep up with everythig that's coming out, let alone afford it. Plus the never ending back catalogue stretching back decades to explore. I'm sure there will be 2013 albums that i missed that i subsequently pick up in years to come, but i've already got a pretty long list of stuff coming out in 2014 to occupy my funds, and the year hasn't even started yet.

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It's just impossible to keep up with everythig that's coming out, let alone afford it. Plus the never ending back catalogue stretching back decades to explore. I'm sure there will be 2013 albums that i missed that i subsequently pick up in years to come, but i've already got a pretty long list of stuff coming out in 2014 to occupy my funds, and the year hasn't even started yet.

Yes, there's really too much coming out to absorb or buy, but of course I'm not suggesting artists stop releasing their music. I made a conscious decision years ago to buy mostly new releases as opposed to reissues, but that only helps a little. So I don't know what the answer is, but it's an issue I've been thinking about lately.

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Darcy James Argue's Secret Society - Brooklyn Babylon

Jonathan Finlayson & Sicilian Defense - Moment & the Message

Kendrick Scott - Conviction

Black Host - Life in the Sugar Candle Mines

Jose James - No Beginning No End

Atoms for Peace - Amok

J. D. Allen - Grace

Matt Mitchell - Fiction

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@CraigP I don't buy anything like as many as you, I don't think, but I've been 90+% new release for a few years now. Spotify though has been a big part of the answer. I wonder if streaming services affect polling? I'm sure they help artists' profile, and for example the titles you guys listed, the ones on Spotify I am working through, some I may buy, and I can talk about and support all those titles/artists. Titles not on Spotify I'm much less likely to ever hear, unless they are by people I know. That's all got to have some effect on the standing of recent releases.

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Interesting reading. I'm sure there's some good things there but sorry to say I have none of those listed. Just goes to show what an old fart I am.

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@CraigP I don't buy anything like as many as you, I don't think, but I've been 90+% new release for a few years now. Spotify though has been a big part of the answer. I wonder if streaming services affect polling? I'm sure they help artists' profile, and for example the titles you guys listed, the ones on Spotify I am working through, some I may buy, and I can talk about and support all those titles/artists. Titles not on Spotify I'm much less likely to ever hear, unless they are by people I know. That's all got to have some effect on the standing of recent releases.

I also wonder how services like Spotify affect purchase decisions. For me it's gone both ways; I've bought because of what I heard on Spotify, and I've passed on some things I was initially interested in. I actually don't preview many CDs on Spotify. I find that I usually know what I'll like, and with this music, you need to invest in it to get the rewards. I'm more likely to really dig into a release if I've bought it, rather than just listened to it on a streaming service. It's as if the music has a lessened value to me if I haven't purchased it, either physically (my preferred way) or digitally.

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Spotify has become invaluable to me in making purchase decisions. I no longer feel the need to own an album unless I can tell it's something that will get played frequently throughout the year. If an album strikes me as "nice, but I'll probably only play it once a year if that" then I don't need to own it. That one time a year I can listen to it on Spotify. I buy less albums overall (probably only about 13 titles in 2013) but it's nice to not have any purchase regrets.

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I've got maybe 200 CDs I've not yet played. But I just stream away. Full marks so far for the Roscoe, Halvorson and Taylor Ho Bynum disks that are mentioned here...

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Specifically the 2009 date with William Parker's quartet augmented by Bradford, Spauding and Bang is the record of the year.

James Spauding is beyond incredible, Billy Bang plays with heart and fire that maybe only someone facing death can and Hamid Drake is simply Hamid Drake. Within the opening O'Neal's Porch the band plays the whole history of this music within 13 minutes

Edited by Steve Reynolds

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"Raining on the moon" with Leena Conquest & Eri Yamamoto and "In order to survive" with Cooper-Moore are great extensions of the 4tet. The whole box is a treasure.

Edited by cayetano

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Both these two are stunning. In fairness I've only listed to them in the last 48 hours but they sound great. The Ensemble disc is simply beautiful yet adventurous music of the highest order , to my ears it a progression form the earlier albums ( which are pretty good as it is). The solo disc benefits from the inclusion of a few standards which really help the cloth ear listener ( me) understand where Alex's radical approach is coming from. These standards offer a key to "understand" what's going on in the originals which make up the bulk of the program. Alex is clearly too modest to blow his own trumpet but these are very nice releases. Well done.

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I'm slow - I've only bought two albums that have come out this year, and I can unhesitatingly recommend them :g

upcd2773fs.jpg

Illinois Jacquet & Leo Parker - Toronto 1947 - Uptown

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Fode Baro - La verite - Lusafrica

MG

Well, I just realised I've bought THREEE of this year's releases, and the one I forgot (well, I thought it was 2012 until I looked just now) is the best!

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Coumba Gawlo - 23 ans de success - Sabar

This is mostly available as a download. Anyway, the CD I bought had two copies of disc 1, so downloads are better in this case :)

MG

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Alex' solo disc is great indeed! :tup :tup :tup

Don't know any of his group's discs yet though - they were sold out by the time I heard him with the Convergence Quartet ... that group's 2013 disc on NoBusiness is very good, too (thanks, Alex!) ... and so is the duo with Louis Moholo, but that one's too old to fit into this thread.

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The Art Pepper-Warne Marsh jam session download was quite a high point of 2013. (This may be the music that once made Jim Sangrey think Art sounded strange.)

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