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Sunday, December 6, 2015

Happy New Ears 2015!

Greetings everyone!

It's time again for our highly contested yet equally enjoyable HAPPY NEW EARS AWARD for the most innovative listening experience of the year. This is how it works. We present you below a longlist of albums that meet the criteria of having offered a new, novel, creative, innovative approach and perspective to music. This is not necessarily the best album of the year, but it should create a feeling with the listener of hearing something surprising, never heard before, discomforting or comforting in a different way, yet with an attractiveness and fascination that makes you want to hear it again and again.

Here is the currently proposed list of 32 possible albums from our reviewers:
  • Áine O'Dwyer - Music for Church Cleaners Vol. I & II
  • Amir El Saffar's Two Rivers Ensemble - Crisis
  • Common Objects - Whitewashed with Lines
  • Death Shanties - Crabs (Bomb Shop)
  • Earth Tongues - Rune
  • Evan Parker ElectroAcoustic Septet – Seven
  • Eve Risser - Des Pas Dans La Neige
  • Going II - Machinery
  • Jacaszek & Kwartludium - Catalogue Des Arbres
  • Jean-Luc Guionnet & Thomas Bonvalet - Loges De Souffle 
  • Kaja Draksler / Susana Santos Silva – This Love
  • Kris Davis Infrasound's - Save Your Breath 
  • Left Exit - Mister X (clean feed)
  • Luis Vicente, Marcelo dos Reis, Valentin Ceccaldi, Theo Ceccaldi - Chamber 4 
  • Marcelo dos Reis & Angélica V. Salvi - Concentric Rinds‏ 
  • Matana Roberts - COIN COIN Ch. 3: River Run Thee" 
  • Matana Roberts – Always 
  • Mazzarella/Haker Flaten/Ra - Azimuth 
  • Mural - Tempo 
  • Nate Wooley - Battle Pieces
  • Nuiversum - Ballads of Now & When
  • Ozo - A Kind Of Zo
  • Parallax Ensemble - Parallax Sounds (Just Temptation)
  • Pascal Niggenkemper – Look with Thine Ears 
  • Premature Burial - Conjuring
  • Pulverize The Sound - Pulverize The Sound
  • SSBT - 247 Main
  • Stephen Haynes - Pomegranate
  • Sylvaine Hélary - Spring Roll 
  • We Like We - A New Age of Sensibility
  • White Out w/Nels Cline - Accidental Sky 
  • Will Guthtrie - Sacrée Obsession
You can add albums for the longlist between now and the end of the week. We - the review team - will then reduce this list to a manageable shorter list. On this list the votes can be cast and we will have the winner by year-end.

Many thanks in advance for the suggestions. (Please note that comments on posts require moderation to deal with the spammers. If you submit suggestions, they may not appear immediately)

- Free Jazz Blog


Lucky said...

My album of the years:
Henry Threadgill's Zooid - In for a Penny, in for a Pound

Cheers, Lucky :)

Rui António said...

My albums of the Ears:
Deux Maisons - For sale
Rodrigo Amado - This Is Our Language

Anonymous said...

My favorite from your list is Peter Evans Quintet - Destination: Void.

IB said...

A great list!

Hum, sorry to enter albums that have not been reviewed but have received some deserved attention:

- Cactus Truck, "Are You Free"
- Dead Neanderthals, "Endless Void"
- Jean-Marc Foussat/Claude Parle/Joao Camoes,"Bien Mental"
- Konstrukt/Akira Sakata, "Kaishi"
- Marcelo Dos Reis/Angelica Salvi, "Concentric Rinds"

I found the public emergence of the "New wave of dutch heavy jazz" interesting this year. But Umut Caglar and his friends in Turkey is a force to be reckoned with now, too. Not too mention the Cipsela/JACC records scene in Portugal.

Just a little note: mispell for "Spring Roll", it is Sylvaine Hélary.

Adri said...

Definitely a great work:
- Luis Vicente, Marcelo dos Reis, Valentin Ceccaldi, Theo Ceccaldi - Chamber 4;
- Marcelo dos Reis & Angélica V. Salvi - Concentric Rinds‏;

Fantastic year for Marcelo dos Reis and all his albums! Congrats!

Loki Motive said...

Here's my list so far this year:

Agustí Fernández @60 : Ad Libitum Festival Residency (Fundacja Słuchaj)*
Cap de Toro / Free Art Ensemble (Discordian Records)
El gats gordos també tenen problemes / Àlex Reviriego (Discordian Records)*
Free Form Improvisation Ensemble 2013 / Abdelhaï Bennani, Burton Greene, Chris Henderson, Alan Silva (Improvising Beings)*
Hotel Grief / Tom Rainey Trio (Intakt Records)*
The Room Is / James Falzone Renga Ensemble (Allos Documents)
Roulette of the Cradle / Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House (Intakt Records)

* are the ones not reviewed here. I'm actually fairly surprised that Hotel Grief hasn't been reviewed yet. It's not quite as visceral as "Camino Cielo Echo" but it's an incredible recording, though it didn't fully hit me until I did some deep listening to it.

Rui António said...

I wonder why The Rempis/Marhaug Duo - Naancore is in the list again, it was in 2014 list already.

pps said...

what about roscoe mitchell celebrating fred anderson. deeply moving

Anonymous said...

My nummer 1: christian lillinger: grund - absolut modern, swingin, avangarde.

Steve N. said...

Other interesting albums that have not been mentioned yet:

Green Room - Concertante
Tim Berne's Snakeoil - You've Been Watching Me
Roscoe Mitchell Trio - Angel City
Sisdel Endresen & Stian Westerhus - Bonita
Matthew Shipp Chamber Ensemble - The Gospel According to Matthew and Michael

Anonymous said...

+ Trzaska, Jacaszek, Budzyński - Rimbaud!

Niels van Mil said...

Great list, and some great recommendations. Albums that haven't been mentioned yet, and also made my list this year include:
Shofar - Gold of Malkinia (Kilogram)
Benjamin Duboc / Alexandra Grimal - Le Retour D'Ulysse (Improvised Beings)
RED Trio - Live in Munich (Astral Spirits)
Olie Brice, Tobias Delius, Mark Sanders - Somersaults (Two Rivers)
Francois Carrier, Michel Lambert, Rafal Mazur - Unknowable (NotTwo)
Switchback - Switchback (Multikulti)
Evan Parker, Alexander Hawkins, John Edwards, Peter Evans, Hamid Drake - Filu 'E Ferru (self produced)

Richard said...

I'm surprised that

Susana Santos Silva, Zetterberg & Lindwall - If Nothing Else

isn't on here. It's not my favourite album of the year, but
it's the first to pop in my mind for this contest. I'd also add

Satoko Fujii Orchestra Berlin- Ichigo Ichie
TOC (Ternoy-Orins-Cruz)-Haircut

and as someone else suggested

Deux Maisons - For Sale

Chris Denyer said...

A few of my faves.

Daniel Levin Quartet: Friction
Ozo: A Kind Of Zo
Deux Maisons: For Sale
Going II: Machinery
Matana Roberts: Coin Coin Chapter Three - River Run Thee
Eve Risser: des pas sur la neige

Anonymous said...

Matthew Shipp Trio: The Conduct Of Jazz
Blue Buddha: Blue Buddha
Nick Mazzarella Trio: Ultraviolet
Wayne Horvitz: Some Places Are Forever Afternoon
All Included: Satan In Plain Clothes

MuzicaDeVest said...

I'd like to mention:
Gebhard Ullmann/Basement Research - Hat And Shoes (Between the Lines)
Huntsville - Pond (Hubro)
Labfield - Bucket of Songs (Hubro)
Benjamin Duboc & Alexandra Grimal - Le Retour D'Ulysse [Promenade]
Müntzing/Diers - Auditory (Eardrum)

Gennaro Z. said...

I would like to add albums for the longlist of New Ears 2015.
I will not repeat titles already mentioned by my predecessors.

- Ken Vandermark "SITE SPECIFIC" 2 CDs + Book (Audiographic)
- Raphael Rogiński ‎"plays John Coltrane And Langston Hughes African Mystic Music" (Bolt)
- RARA AVIS s/t (Not Two)
- Martin Küchen, Johan Berthling, Steve Noble ‎"Night In Europe" (No Business)
- Mats Gustafsson & NU Ensemble ‎"Hidros 6" (Not Two)
- All Included "Satan In Plain Clothes" (Clean Feed)
- Michael Zerang & The Blue Lights ‎"Songs From The Big Book Of Love" (Pink Palace)
- Stephen Haynes "Pomegranate" (New Atlantis)
- Evan Ziporyn / Wacław Zimpel / Hubert Zemler / Gyan Riley "Green Light" (Multikulti Project)

My best from Italy,

Anonymous said...

Jacaszek & Kwartludium - Catalogue des arbres (Touch) is originally from 2014 (released on CD). Just vinyl edition released by Gustaff Records is from 2015. It has 6 tracks instead of CD's 8.

I'm also voting for Raphael Rogiński ‎plays John Coltrane and Langston Hughes African mystic music (Bôłt Records).


BAB said...

Cool List & Thanks for all you do!

I think Destination Void is 2014.

Favorites mentioned by above comments already:
Michael Zerang & The Blue Lights - Songs For The Big Book Of Love (Pink Palace)
Ken vandermark - Site Specific (Audiographic)

Possible additional Favs:
Bouchons d'Oreilles/Warsaw Improvisers Orchestra (Astral Spirits)
Bad Luck - Three (Table & Chairs)

Richard said...

One More:

Double Automatism by YASUNAO TONE + TALIBAM! + SAM KULIK

Tiago Vaz said...

Luis Vicente, Marcelo dos Reis, Valentin Ceccaldi, Theo Ceccaldi - Chamber 4
Marcelo dos Reis & Angélica V. Salvi - Concentric Rinds‏

WOW!! This two albums are just two great works edited this year! Fine music and great experiences. Hope they make it to final list.

And I suggest you allow voters to be able to have a taste of the music in the albums placed in the final list. I think it will make voting more fair.

Cheers, and great list by the way!!

baba said...

Jack DeJohnette - Made in Chicago
Kamasi Washington - The Epic
Ingrid Laubrock Anti House - Roulette of the Craddle
Konstrukt + Joe McPhee - If You Have Time
Atomic - Lucidity

are on my best of 2015 list.

Anonymous said...

Joe McPhee / Paal Nilssen-Love - Candy,
Universal Indians W/ Joe McPhee ‎– Skullduggery,
Brötzmann / Uuskyla ‎– Red Cloud On Silver,
Haino Keiji, Brötzmann Peter, Jim O'Rourke ‎– Two City Blues 1,
Roscoe Mitchell Quartet ‎– Celebrating Fred Anderson,
Wadada Leo Smith & John Lindberg ‎– Celestial Weather,
Michael Zerang & The Blue Lights -Songs from the Big Book of Love,
Ken Vandermark / Paal Nilssen-Love ‎– The Lions Have Eaten One Of The Guards

Anonymous said...

TheTurbine!, Harrison Bankhead, Benjamin Duboc, Hamid Drake, Ramón López , with special guests Jean-Luc Cappozzo, William Parker, Lionel Garcin ‎– Entropy/Enthalpy,
Oliver Lake, William Parker ‎– To Roy,
Frode Gjerstad Trio ‎– Miyazaki,
Ballister ‎– Worse For The Wear,
Guy/Vandermark ‎– Occasional Poems,
Trio X ‎– Live At Kerrytown,
The Resonance Ensemble ‎– Double Arc,
Vinny Golia ‎– At Gold Lion Arts

affasf said...

Baloni - Ripples
Kaze - Uminari
Paul Lytton - ?!
The Hero of Warchester - The Hero of Warchester
Phil Haynes & No Fast Food - Corner Store Jazz
Tetterapadequ - Chlopingle

Anonymous said...

Joe O'Connor Trio - Praxis

Claudio Vedovati said...


Thanks for yours input. I listen as much as possible.
These are my 2015 small groups listening.

Stephen Haynes - Pomegranate
Henry Threadgill's Zooid - In for a Penny, in for a Pound
Joe McPhee/Jamie Saft/Joe Morris/Charles Downs – Ticonderoga

Matana Roberts - COIN COIN 3 - River Run Thee
Eve Risser - Des pas sur la neige
Larry Ochs — The Fictive Five

Nick Fraser - Too Many Continents
Nicole Mitchell/Tomeka Reid/Mike Reed- Artifatcs

Roscoe Mitchell - Celebrating Fred Anderson


Anonymous said...

If you go with "hearing something surprising, never heard before", I dare to add these two:

Voccolours & Eberhard Kranemann "Luxatio" - genre defying vocal acrobatics
Helen Bledsoe & Alexey Lapin "Ghost Icebreaker" - best flute playing I've heard in a long while

James Wright said...


Ben Stapp said...

Pomegranate gets my vote!

Anonymous said...

surprised to see no one nominated Joshua Abrams' Magnetoception, one of the few truly innovative jazz records of the year.