Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Favorite Music Of 2013

This is the first year in a long time where I have not had to assemble any kind of Top 10 CD list for Cadence, so I've decided to put one up here. Since I've doing it on my own I'm going by my own rules and making this a list of my favorite CDs released in 2013 whether they're new or a reissue and regardless of genre. Most of these are jazz releases but there's also some prog rock and by way of Elvis Costello, a little hip-hop.  I don't have the resources that go into a lot of other lists I've seen online and in print. I don't get promo CDs directly like professional critics. I'm basically limited to the stuff Cadence sends me and what I can buy on my own, so there are a few of the same discs everybody else is listing here and some that no one seems to have discovered.

First though here are my favorite live performances of the past year:

Charles Lloyd's 75th birthday concert at the Kennedy Center
Dawn Upshaw and the Crash Ensemble at the Kennedy Center
Gregory Porter at the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival
Mike Reed's People Places and Things at Bohemian Caverns
Kris Davis' Capricorn Climber at Bohemian Caverns
Janel Leppin's Ensemble Volcanic Ash at Bohemian Caverns
Luciana Souza at Atlas Arts Center
Newspeak Ensemble at Atlas Arts Center
Jack Dejohnette: Special Legends Edition Chicago at the Chicago Jazz Festival
Satoko Fujii Orchestra Chicago at the Chicago Jazz Festival
...and a late add, Matt Wilson's Christmas Tree-O turning seasonal songs of all types every which way at the Atlas a couple of weeks ago

And here are my favorite CDs of the year in alphabetical order:

Ralph Alessi/Kris Davis/Tom Rainey/Ingrid Laubrock, LARK, (Skirl)
Tim Berne's Snakeoil, Shadow Man, (ECM)
Andy Bey, The World According To Andy Bey, (HighNote)
Ketil Bjornstad, La Notte, (ECM)
Carla Bley/Andy Sheppard/Steve Swallow, Trios, (ECM)
Dave Burrell, Conception
Gary Burton, Guided Tour, Mack Avenue
Elvis Costello and the Roots, Wise Up Ghost, (Blue Note)
Kris Davis, Capricorn Climber, (Clean Feed)
Miles Davis, Live In Europe 1969 - The Bootleg Series, Vol. 2 (Columbia/Legacy)
Kaja Draksler, The Lives Of Many Others, (Clean Feed)
Shayna Dulberger, Ache and Flutter, (Empty Room Music)
Fire! Orchestra, Exit!, (Rune Grammofon)
Gerry Gibbs, Thrasher Dream Trio, (Whaling City Sound)
John Grant, Pale Green Ghosts, (Partisan)
Mary Halvorson Septet, Imaginary Sea, (Firehouse 12)
David Haney & Bernard Purdie, Selling It Like It Is, (Cadence Jazz)
John Hollenbeck, Songs I Like A Lot, (Suunyside)
William Hooker Quintet, Channels Of Consciousness, (No Business)
Ernie Krivda, At The Tri-C Jazz Fest, (Cadence Jazz)
Marty Krystall Quartet, Moments Magical, (K2B2)
LAMA & Chris Speed, Lamacal, (Clean Feed)
Adam Lane Quartet, Oh Freedom, (CIMP)
Greg Lewis Organ Monk, American Standard
Low, The Invisible Way (Sub Pop)
Rebecca Martin, Twain, (Sunnyside)
Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom, No Morphine No Lilies, (Foxhaven)
Billy Mintz, Mintz Quartet, (Thirteeneth Note)
Mostly Other People Do The Killing, Red Hot, (Hot Cup)
Chris Potter, The Sirens, (ECM)
Sao Paulo Underground, Beija Flors Velhoie Sujo, (Cuneiform)
Wayne Shorter, Without A Net, (Blue Note)
Wadada Leo Smith & TUMO, Occupy The World, (TUM)
S.O.S., Looking For The Next One, (Cuneiform)
June Tabor/Iain Ballamy/Huw Warren, Quercus, (ECM)
Craig Taborn Trio, Chants, (ECM)
The Whammies, Play The Music Of Steve Lacy Vol. 2, (Drift)
Steven Wilson, The Raven That Refused To Sing and other stories, (K-Scope)

A few words about some of the lesser known discs.  Veterans Andy Bey and Dave Burrell had strong efforts, Bey just with his voice and piano, Burrell in a trio with sax and drums that spotlighted his unique ragtime-to-free piano playing. The Gerry Gibbs one is a fine trio CD featuring drummer Gibbs dueling with Ron Carter and Kenny Barron.  John Grant is a singer-songwriter with a beautiful baritone who did a chillingly lovely electronic-laced CD in Iceland. Kaja Draksler is a young pianist from Slovenia who made a interesting solo disc and singer Rebecca Martin does an endearing type of jazz-laced folk singing that more people should know about. My favorite songs of the year were Grant's "G.M.F." and Steven Wilson's "The Raven Who Refused To Sing".

No comments: