Friday, January 16, 2009

Top 10 + 5 of 2008

Better late than never, here are ten of my favorite jazz recordings as well as five of my favorite non-jazz records from 2008 ...

1) AARON PARKS - Invisible Cinema (Blue Note)
Terence Blanchard's former pianist creates a varied instrumental soundtrack to an untold story.

2) BRIAN BLADE FELLOWSHIP - Season Of Changes (Verve)
After an eight year hiatus the Fellowship returns with another collection of songs that transverse music genres with ease.

3) JOHN ELLIS & DOUBLE WIDE - Dance Like There's No Tomorrow (Hyena)
Ellis' inventive writing and saxophone playing backed by organ, drums and ... sousaphone!

4) BEN ALLISON & MAN SIZE SAFE - Little Things Run The World (Palmetto)
The bassist's new quintet performs his signature blend of jazz/folk/rock on seven originals and a cover of John Lennon's "Jealous Guy."

5) MIKE MORENO - Third Wish (Criss Cross)
A studio snapshot of originals and jazz standards by the likes of Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson and Billy Strayhorn.

6) MATHIAS EICK - The Door (ECM)
Incredibly atmospheric ECM debut from trumpet player previously heard on recordings by Jacob Young and Manu Katche.

Impeccably recorded mix of originals and compositions by Gary Peacock, Ennio Morricone, Tomasz Stanko, Carla Bley and Prince.

8) LAGE LUND - Early Songs (Criss Cross)
Modern jazz originals played by top notch musicians.

9) DAVE DOUGLAS & KEYSTONE - Moonshine (Greenleaf)
The evolution of the trumpeter's electric band continues.

10) LEONARDO CIOGLIA - Contos (Quizamba)
Intriguing set of originals performed by the bassist and John Ellis, Mike Moreno, Stefon Marris, Aaron Goldberg and Antonio Sanchez.

Contrary to popular belief, I do listen to quite a bit of music that isn't jazz. Here are five records that caught my ear in 2008 ...

1. COLDPLAY - Viva la Vida (EMI)
If it were possible to wear out mp3s, I'd be looking for another copy of this.

2. Q-TIP - The Renaissance (Motown)
This became my gym soundtrack for about three months straight.

3. DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE - Narrow Stairs (Atlantic)
Not as good as Plans to my ears, but a solid record nonetheless.

4. METALLICA - Death Magnetic (E/M Ventures)
This brought me back to freshmen year of high school.

5. MATTHEW LOIACONO - Kentucky (Collar City Records)
Solid set of original tunes performed on mandolin from the original BPQ drummer!