Thursday, December 30, 2010

End of the Year Lists

With the end of the year comes Best Albums of the Year lists. For the second year in a row, I had the honor of being tapped for the Village Voice's tally of best jazz albums of the year, in addition to my annual contribution to JazzTimes.

Funny thing - this year, I felt like I was fairly on top of things, hearing a lot of the "big deal" releases, as well as some really great ones that were flying under the radar. Still, I was hard-pressed to think, "Yeah, that one ought to be on my list" as I considered a number of them. Then there were some albums that I didn't get ahold of until after the deadline had passed, that would have definitely been on the list. (Jason Adasiewicz's Sun Rooms, most recently. When we got back into town after Christmas, that and the latest Exploding Star Orchestra album were waiting for me!)

Don't listen to the naysayers who keep saying that the music industry is dying. My friend Will made the astute observation several months ago that despite all those alarmist articles, you keep seeing deluxe 180-gram vinyl reissues by labels like Four Men With Beards, while I keep trying to keep abreast of things like the latest amazing ECM release, as well as the latest hijinks from folks like Mr. Adasiewicz and his Chicago peers. There's still plenty of music coming out. Maybe there just aren't as many people who care passionately about music as there was 20 years ago.

Anyhow, I'm digressing. Here's a link to the Voice, with a couple interesting overviews of the year and its music.

STOP THE PRESSES...............................................
I just went to the JazzTimes website to look for some year-end stuff, and came upon this obituary for Dr. Billy Taylor, who died on Tuesday. There is a huge void in the world now without him. The world lost too many musicians this year. Goddam.

Okay, back on topic....... here's the critic's list from JazzTimes. Scroll down and see my list, some of which might be familiar to anyone who reads this blog.

Finally, here's a review of a song-by-song reworking of the Velvet Underground's White Light/White Heat by a group that includes most of Mostly Other People Do the Killing. It came out last summer, but I didn't get around to reviewing it until recently.

On the rock side of things, I didn't get my End of the Year list into Blurt, so I'm going to fashion one here and put that up tonight. Maybe after a drink or two.

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