Tuesday, December 25, 2007

other lists

I will say that a ton of really good records just didn't make the cut this year for one reason or another (mostly because I didn't have enough time to listen to them thoroughly and come to appreciate their nuances and/or highlights).

First are the records that I that almost made the top 10:

Scott Colley - Architect of the Silent Moment (CamJazz)
Amir Elsaffar - Two Rivers (Pi Recordings) (which I publicized)
Big Four (Nagl/Bernstein/Jones/Akchote) - Big Four Live (Hatology)
Chris Potter 10 - Song for Anyone (Sunnyside/Universal Music France)
Fred Hersh Trio - Night and the Music (Palmetto)
Jason Lindner Big Band - Live at the Jazz Gallery (Anzic)
Jerome Sabbagh - Pogo (Sunnyside/Bee Jazz)
Joachim Kuhn w/ Majid Bekkas & Ramon Lopez - Kalimba (ACT Music) (which I publicized)
Joe Lovano & Hank Jones: Kids: Live at Dizzy's Club Cola-Cola (Blue Note) (which I publicized)
Julie Hardy - The Wish (World Culture Music)
Kenny Werner - Lawn Chair Society (Blue Note) (which I publicized)
Kurt Elling - Night Moves (Concord)
Lars Danielsson/Leszek Mozdzer - Pasodoble (ACT Music) (which I publicized)
Luciana Souza - The New Bossa Nova (Verve)
Metheny/Mehldau - Quartet (Nonesuch)
Michael Brecker - Pilgrimage (Heads Up)
Scott Colley - Architect of the Silent Moment (CAM Jazz)
Terence Blanchard - A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina) (Blue Note)
The Bad Plus - Prog (Heads Up/Do The Math)
The Claudia Quintet - For (Cuneiform)

And the records I heard great things about from critics and/or bloggers whom I respect, and thus probably would have enjoyed, but never got around to buying or listening to before the end of the year (though several of these I bought since originally conceiving this post):

Alan Ferber Nonet - The Compass (Fresh Sound)
Bill McHenry - Roses (Sunnyside) (even though the label sent me a copy!)
David Binney/Edward Simon - Oceanos (Criss Cross)
His Name Is Alive - Sweet Earth Flower: A Tribute to Marion Brown (High Two)
Maria Schneider - Sky Blue (ArtistShare)
McCoy Tyner - Quartet (McCoy Tyner Music/Half Note)
Mike Moreno - Between the Lines (World Culture Music)

The record that seems to be on everyone's lists except mine. For some reason or another, however much I listened to the new Joshua Redman recording, Back East (Nonesuch), I couldn't get into it. While it is a welcome return to his envelope-pushing modern straight-ahead bag, from which he strayed with his last two records as a leader, the proto-jam band/funk release Elastic Band(Warner Bros.) and the also funky completely mishmashed release, Momentum (Nonesuch), with a very varied cast of players (as on Back East), I did not hear terribly inspired playing. I should, however, mention his excellent output as founder and now former leader of the SF Jazz Collective (which he has recently been replaced by Joe Lovano so that Redman can more actively pursue his solo career). This group - which in my mind now rivals the Dave Holland Quintet, Wayne Shorter Quartet, Dave Douglas Quintet & Keystone, The Claudia Quintet and a few others as far as having virtually all charismatic soloists and great group cohesion - have widely released two recordings on Nonesuch (both dedicated to a veritable icon of jazz past, one for Ornette Coleman and one for tribute John Coltrane) as well as two other limited edition double albums on the independent SF Jazz imprint (the latest of which is dedicated to Thelonious Monk and original compositions). Maybe I need to revisit Back East once again with the press release in hand, but I think Redman he has made far better records.

Now the records I heard and loved that fall outside of jazz.

Pop/World/Non-Jazz Top 10 of 2007:

1. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge)
2. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver (DFA)
3. The National - Boxer (Beggars Banquet)
4. Tcheka - Nu Monda (Times Square)
5. Radiohead - In Rainbows (self-released)
6. The D.R.E.A.M. - Love/Hate (Def Jam)
7. Tinariwen - Aman Iman: Water is Life (Global Village)
8. Caribou - Andorra (Merge)
9. KT Tunstall - Drastic Fantastic (Interscope)
10. PJ Harvey - White Chalk (Island)

And the records I didn't get a chance to hear closely or at all but was very intrigued by from monitoring various media outlets for my job like NPR, Pitchfork and the blogosphere in non-jazz genres were new/recent records by the now late Andy Palacio, Mariza, Battles, Simian Mobile Disco, Klaxons, Robert Wyatt, Animal Collective, Panda Bear, Arcade Fire, Robert Plant/Alison Krauss, Sunset Rubdown, Dirty Projectors: Rise Above, Deerhunter, Feist, Justice, Of Montreal, Okkervil River, Beirut, UGK, Wilco and Jens Lekman.

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