The year's best new jazz albums, and more. At least until I hear more new albums.
After listening to what is now close to 500 recordings with a 2016 release date, I feel like I’ve discovered some themes. Some of this is the elusive zeitgeist, what is on the minds of musical artists; some is longer term trends having to do with technology and pop culture; some may just be coincidence. … Continue reading 2016 Notes and Tones
52 of the best new releases of the year
//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=ss_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=thbicibl-20&marketplace=amazon®ion=US&placement=B00THQVWQ4&asins=B00THQVWQ4&linkId=SMLD5VA73MBEBPYV&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true This list is built around the ballot I sent to Francis Davis for his 10th Jazz Critic’s Poll, which (UPDATE) is posted at NPR. As someone who grew up reading and admiring (and learning a good deal about thinking and writing from) Davis’ criticism, I’m always thrilled to be a part of this. There’s … Continue reading Best Jazz Albums 2015
One complaint about year-end, best-of lists is that they have an arbitrary cut-off and miss subsequent release. That of course is true, but there's got to be a line somewhere, or else the work never gets done. There's the record that's not a new Ornette Coleman, per se, but a new recording in which Ornette … Continue reading On The Far Side Of The Year
Best Downtown Music 2014 Best New Music Albums 2014 This is the second half of the classical list, music that has common origins in the Western tradition, in the expansive sense of music that began with a social purpose and then developed an abstract movement that we generally call classical music. Since the turn of the … Continue reading Best New Music Albums 2014
This is the least rationalized, most personal list I come up with. There’s plenty of music I listen to during the year that I have praise for, but my personal and professional interest in jazz, classical, experimental, improvised, etc music includes critical praise of things for how they work, not necessarily for how much un-thinking, … Continue reading Best Pop Albums 2014
First, a note on genres and categories: Like my jazz list, this one is defined by the genre, and like that jazz list I’m doing this to be inclusive. In terms of history and tradition, the accumulation of ideas, styles and forms through time, classical music (like jazz) had a long-expanding common language, then reached … Continue reading Best Classical Albums 2014