Next to my list of best albums of the year, I also decided to dedicate some time to a new feature : "The Musicians Of The Year", another topic we can question and argue about.
Wadada Leo Smith
Furthermore, he is uncompromising. He plays what he likes and he plays what he thinks he should be playing. He is a muscian true to himself. Listen to his duet with Jack DeJohnette, it is one of the best albums of the year, but so is his Spiritual Dimensions double CD, a release that also shows the different faces of the artist. Great.
Live At The Loft" and "Floating Islands". True, she plays with two master musicians, but it is primarily her voice on the sax, her phrasing that determine the music. What she does is utterly creative, appealing to both heart and mind at the same time, without alienating listeners. With her trio, she redefines jazz, if you can still call it that.
Next to that, she also participates in this other genre-bending band, "Mokuto", that released a great album this year too, without forgetting last year's "Alien Huddle".
one solo album, one duet with Barry Guy. On both albums, the saxophonist demonstrates that his instrument has become part of his body. Any emotion you have (he has) gets amplified, reinforced through his instrument: directly, immediately and raw, whether it's agony, distress, sadness, and everything in between. Next to an uncompromising Lithuanian quartet release, he also presented his new band "Fire!" he brings jazz into rock music, and again with great success. And on Qbico, he releases "Mats G. Plays Albert A.", a 20-minute reverent vinyl tribute to Ayler pressed in 100 copies only (thanks Tony!), from which the above picture is taken. His implicit message to young musicians is clear : it may take a long time of searching, but finding new musical vistas is possible, and artistically so rewarding.
many albums this year (six if I'm not mistaken). As I wrote earlier, she is a musical nomad, playing with like-minded adventurous spirits, whether it's with the experienced William Parker, or young Quentin Sirjacq, opening her ears and mind for the interaction, and going deep into musical and emotional layers, going to the essence, which makes every performance unique in approach yet musically also universal at the same time.
Other noteworthy stuff about musicians:
- David S Ware received a new kidney and is doing well.
- Andrew D'Angelo is also healthy again
- Larry Ochs got raided by the jazz police.
- Wynton Marsalis may be a great trumpeter, but you can question whether he knows anything about music.