The Band is revealed in all of its muscular, almost (but never completely) out-of-control on-stage glory — bolstered, in a meeting of musical worlds, by these stabbing horn charts from Allen Toussaint.
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Mark Saleski’s Best of 2013 (Jazz): Bill Frisell, Mary Halvorson, Mort Weiss, John Zorn, Pat Metheny
People like to make that joke about jazz not being dead — no, it just smells funny; har, har … oh, so clever — or they cling to the belief that nothing new has happened
S. Victor Aaron’s Best of 2013 (Part 2 of 4, Modern & Mainstream Jazz): Chris Potter, Rudresh Mahanthappa
There’s been a ton of great modern and mainstream jazz albums released this year, coming from stalwarts and newcomers alike. It’s not just tradition being upheld with grace and passion, there were loads of creative spurts by newcomers and stalwarts alike
S. Victor Aaron’s Best of 2013 (Part 1 of 4, Non-Jazz): Harper/ Musselwhite, Robert Randoph, Steven Wilson
With so many major releases typically timed go on sale to take advantage of the holiday shopping season, you’d think that most of the choicest music of any given year are records issued during the September-November timeframe.
Artists reclaimed their thrones in 2013, did things they were supposed to do in the way they were supposed to do them. Sounded, if nothing else, like their very own glorious selves.
From Agony Aunts to Big Boy Pete, from Merrell Fankhauser to Richard Heyman, from Jeremy to Gary Ritchie, it’s been a terrific year for often overlooked rock and pop. Here’s my list of fun faves
The upcoming 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ American debut has inspired a slew of related books, CDs, movies, and other collectibles. In other words, this Christmas will be a dream
We explore triumphs over time from legends like James Cotton and Wayne Shorter. Triumphs of conception like Billy Martin’s Wicked Knee, and Michael Wolff’s combining with Mike Clark. And triumphs of sheer artistry from Boz Scaggs.
“Fusion jazz” is one of my favorite genres because it can encompass the intelligent, episodic prog rock of Guapo, forward-thinking world fusion of Maira Marquez or plain fun instrumental music of Rock Candy Funk Party.
S. Victor Aaron’s Mid-Year Best of 2013 (Avant Garde and Experimental Jazz): Ben Goldberg, Ceramic Dog
In years past, I’ve called this the “whack jazz” list and this time we’re going to call it “avant garde and experimental jazz,” but any music that goes too far outside the bounds of convention gets lumped into its own category.