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Thread: Best of 2012 (so far)

  1. #1
    Registered User Alypius's Avatar
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    Best of 2012 (so far)

    I know, I know. I usually start this thread around July 1, not April 1. So I'm jumping the gun three months early. Over the last few years, I've begun a thread like this to take stock and begin to assess what have been the outstanding releases of the year. Versions of this thread in previous years have proved to be helpful forums as the year progressed and as more and more contributors more jumped in to offer their rankings. A number of us contribute to the “New Releases Only” thread, but in that thread we tend to highlight what’s just been released or just about to be released rather than stand back and offer an evaluation. So while such lists are always a bit arbitrary, we have all limited funds, and lists like these help me at least figure out what to concentrate on and consider buying:

    So here are my very early "top 6":

    1. John Moulder, The Eleventh Hour: Live at the Green Mill (Origin). Favorite tracks: "African Sunset" (#2); "Cold Sea Triptych" (#4).

    2. Vijay Iyer, Accelerando (ACT): Favorite tracks: "Optimism" (#2); "Human Nature (Trio Extension)" (#4).

    3. Jeff Parker Trio, Bright Light in Winter (Delmark). Favorite tracks: "Mainz" (#1); "Change" (#3)

    4. Brad Mehldau Trio, Ode (Nonesuch). Favorite tracks: "26" (#3); "Ode" (#2).

    5. Floratone [Bill Frisell], Floratone II (Savoy Jazz). Favorite track: "No Turn Back" (#9).

    6. Tim Berne, Snakeoil (ECM). Favorite tracks: "Simple City" (#1); "Scanners" (#2)




    One further justification for starting this year's thread early: DSS's great comment from last year's thread:
    Quote Originally Posted by dsschicago View Post
    This thread is sadistic. As the year progressed, the larger the pool of albums to select from, meanwhile the time in which to select them decreases as the year draws to a close.

    Next year, we need to open the Best of 2012 thread on Jan 5th and close it on March 31st... it'll be so much easier on all of our nervous systems ...
    Well, rather than starting on Jan 5th and closing on March 31st, I thought that starting the day after would be better. Something good to aggravate our nervous systems. Enjoy.

  2. #2
    Miles and Beyond robmid's Avatar
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    Although I've picked up some nice music so far this year, the one that really stands out is Landscape Scripture by guitarist Scott Dubois. Listen to it on Sunnyside/Bandcamp - http://sunnysidezone.com If one word summed it up, it wold be "Haunting."



    Cheers,
    RM

    I like what I like. Is that such a crime?
    Favorite Jazz Recordings - www.actionplan.com/jazz.html

  3. #3
    Registered User xybert's Avatar
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    My new release purchases for this year so far:

    Steve Lehman - Dialect Flourescent
    Tim Berne - Snake Oil
    Kenny Wheeler - The Long Waiting
    Vijay Iyer - Accelerando





    I'm thoroughly enjoying all of the above... gazing into my crystal ball, i am really looking forward and predicting possible top tennage status for the following:

    Mary Halvorson - Bending Bridges (still waiting!)
    Harris Eisenstadt - Canada day Octet and Canada Day III
    The new The Bad Plus record
    Chick Corea & Gary Burton - Hot House
    Darius Jones - Book of Mæ'bul (Another Kind of Sunrise)
    The new Convergence Quartet album
    And a few others i can't think of right now...

    EDIT = also just learned that a new Henry Threadgill album will be coming out on Pi this year! Head = explode.
    Last edited by xybert; April 4th, 2012 at 11:49 PM. Reason: add something to look forward to!

  4. #4
    Registered User niels's Avatar
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    Haven't bought that much new music upon till now, but these three definitely stand out for me:

    01. Vijay Iyer Trio - Accelerando (ACT)
    02. Andy Sheppard - Trio Libero (ECM)
    03. Chick Corea/Paul Motian/Eddy Gomez - Further Explorations (Concord)
    "Any form of art is a form of power; it has impact, it can affect change, it can not only move us, it makes us move."

  5. #5
    Registered User Extrapolation's Avatar
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    Nice man Jeff Parker is sick; I didn't know he had a new album got to get it.
    "This human thing in instrumental playing, has to do with trying to get as much human warmth and feeling into my work as I can. I want to say more on my horn than I ever could in ordinary speech." - Eric Dolphy

  6. #6
    Distracted dsschicago's Avatar
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    I'll give my top ten, and then a handful of others that haven't yet made the cut. Also, keep in mind, there are several albums I haven't yet listened to:

    Top ten, not in any order:
    1. John Moulder Quintet – The 11th Hour: Live at the Green Mill
    2. Guillaume de Chassy – Silences
    3. Rebecca Trescher’s Hochzeit Null11 – Sud
    4. Motian Sickness: The Music of Paul Motian - For the Love of Sarah
    5. Piet Verbist - Zygomatik
    6. Todd Clouser’s A Love Electric – 20th Century Folk Selections
    7. Matt Wilson – An Attitude For Gratitude
    8. Martin Hoper – The Bride
    9. Beppe di Benedetto 5tet – See the Sky
    10. Lynne Arriale - Solo

    Honorable Mention:
    San Francisco Latin Jazz Society – This
    Bridges Trio – Mans
    Josh Arcoleo – Beginnings
    Alexandra Lehmler - No Blah Blah
    Living Room in London – Living Room in London
    Tom Wetmore – The Desired Effect
    Blake Lyman – Anthology For Now
    Elio Villafranca & Arturo Stable – Dos Y Mas
    Brian Patneaude - All Around Us
    Jimmy Owens – The Monk Project
    Bill Dixon - Envoi
    Oh Yeah Orchestra – Freedom of Movement
    Anders Koppel - Everything Is Subject To Change
    Daniel Ogren – Laponia
    Joel Harrison - Search
    Eivind Opsvik - Overseas IV
    Joshua Maxey - The Language of Sound & Spirit


    Some of the above may have been released in December 2011, but whatever. There are several albums that I just began listening to that will likely break the top ten, like Brian Charette's new album and the new Locke/Keezer. There's also likely several other albums that I am totally forgetting as I quickly try to put the above list together.

    Also, many many of the albums above have been featured as the AAJ download of the day, so you can check some music out there. And, if I may add, many many of the above albums have been reviewed, if just a tiny review, at my site Bird is the Worm, which typically includes lots of links to external artist sites, as well as embedded audio to listen to the music as you read about it. Several of the albums have also been reviewed on the main AAJ site, too.

    Cheers.

  7. #7
    Registered User KBerube80's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Atomic - Here Comes Everybody
    Steve Lehman Trio - Dialect Fluorescent
    Vijay Iyer Trio - Accelerando
    Tim Berne - Snakeoil

    Robmid - I briefly listened to that Scott Dubois album on the bandcamp page. Seems like a good one that I need to revisit. Thanks!
    With mind distracted, never thinking death is coming... To slave away on the pointless business of mundane life, and then to come out empty is a tragic error..

  8. #8
    Dressing Like a Fan Since 1997 1/2 Baked, Not Fried's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsschicago View Post
    I'll give my top ten, and then a handful of others that haven't yet made the cut. Also, keep in mind, there are several albums I haven't yet listened to
    Dave – thanks for posting this list. That Martin Hoper release really sounds like a winner – will probably need to pick that one up. ‘Amazing how few of these artists I’ve even heard of – probably less than ½ of the ones you listed. A good reminder of how deep the talent pool really is, and how many deserving artists aren’t getting their due. ‘Very cool that you’re doing what you’re doing, and helping unearth some of these hidden gems. I also checked out your site – some really nice work you’re doing. Thanks again, and keep up the good work.
    I think there are only three things America will be known for 2,000 years from now when they study this civilization: the Constitution, jazz music and baseball. Gerald Early 1952–, American Author

  9. #9
    Registered User Alypius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1/2 Baked, Not Fried View Post
    Dave – thanks for posting this list. That Martin Hoper release really sounds like a winner – will probably need to pick that one up. ‘Amazing how few of these artists I’ve even heard of – probably less than ½ of the ones you listed. A good reminder of how deep the talent pool really is, and how many deserving artists aren’t getting their due. ‘Very cool that you’re doing what you’re doing, and helping unearth some of these hidden gems. I also checked out your site – some really nice work you’re doing. Thanks again, and keep up the good work.
    I need to second 1/2 Baked's comments on Dave's work. All sorts of new, emerging artists there. Over the last couple of years, Dave has invariably been the discoverer of about a third of my favorites of the year. Be sure and check out his website, which is full of great choices, comments, and tracks-to-be-streamed. I've just begun to follow up all those great suggestions.

    One question to Xybert: Where are you finding the Kenny Wheeler Big Band? I read John Kelman's review. But I can't find it available either on iTunes or on Amazon. Am I missing something?

    Thanks to all for getting the thread off to a great start. So many intriguing recommendations of things I had not heard of or had not yet had time to pursue. I too am really fascinated by what Rob suggested, the Scott DuBois, great guitar with really "out" style of sax playing. Very atmospheric.

  10. #10
    Registered User xybert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alypius View Post

    One question to Xybert: Where are you finding the Kenny Wheeler Big Band? I read John Kelman's review. But I can't find it available either on iTunes or on Amazon. Am I missing something?
    I got mine from Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Long-Wai...3731706&sr=8-1

    Highly recommended for fans of his previous large ensemble stuff. Cheers.

  11. #11
    Registered User jcam_44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xybert View Post
    I got mine from Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Long-Wai...3731706&sr=8-1

    Highly recommended for fans of his previous large ensemble stuff. Cheers.
    It's coming to America

    http://http://www.amazon.com/Long-Wa...3737403&sr=8-1

  12. #12
    Registered User KBerube80's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBerube80 View Post
    Steve Lehman Trio - Dialect Fluorescent
    This album is completely bowling me over. Simply phenomenal! It's a lot more traditional than his previous output yet still very modern. That rhythm section is absurd and Lehman is superlative as usual.
    With mind distracted, never thinking death is coming... To slave away on the pointless business of mundane life, and then to come out empty is a tragic error..

  13. #13
    Miles and Beyond robmid's Avatar
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    Anders Koppel - Everything is Subject to Change



    This album on Dave's long list has to go on my best of the year list. Dave, I listened to samples from your whole list, but this one stood out. Modern jazz that is inventive and original, yet accessible. Every moment is new and fresh. Love it. Thanks for turning us on to all your great finds.

    Cheers,
    RM

    I like what I like. Is that such a crime?
    Favorite Jazz Recordings - www.actionplan.com/jazz.html

  14. #14
    Registered User HenkN's Avatar
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    Alain Alioune Agbo - Their love make me sing


    Jim Black trio - Somatic



  15. #15
    Registered User xybert's Avatar
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    Just a bit of a random note... i rarely pick up Downbeat magazine, but was in a store today and thought it might be fun... anyway, the issue i picked up is cover dated April 2012 and has Robert Glasper on the cover... now, it's apparent to me that we all take reviews with a grain of salt, but this issue seemed to have a particularly large amount of reviews of relevant new releases, so anyway i though it might be of interest if i posted the 'stars' attributed to certain albums in this issue, FWIW:

    Vijay Iyer - Accelerando - 4 1/2 stars
    Tim Berne - Snake Oil - 4 stars
    Matt Wilson - An Attitude For Gratitude - 4 stars
    Matthew Shipp - Elastic Aspects - 4 stars
    Jack DeJohnette - Sound Travels - 4 1/2 stars
    David Binney - Barefooted Town - 4 stars (thought this came out a while ago?)
    Charlie Haden & Hank Jones - Come Sunday - 2 1/2 stars
    Jenny Scheinman - Mischief & Mayhem - 4 stars
    Marty Ehrlich Rites Quartet - Frog Leg Logic - 4 stars (late 2011 release)
    Chick Corea/Eddie Gomez/Paul Motian - further Explorations - 4 stars

    Anyway, not making judgements on the value of the reviews one way or the other but thought it might be of interest. Cheers.

    Purely by coincidence i picked up the Chick Corea/Eddie Gomez/Paul Motian album today and am absolutely loving it.

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