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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Happy New Ears 2013

Hi everyone!

Here we are again with 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 from our reviewers:

  • Anthony Braxton Sax Quintet 
  • Andrew Cyrille - Duology  
  • Fire Orchestra - Exit! 
  • Keefe Jackson's Likely So - A Round Goal 
  • John Tchicai - Tribal Ghost  
  • Merzbow / Gustafsson / Pandy - Cuts 
  • Mostly Other People do the Killing - Red Hot 
  • Black Host - Life in the Sugar Candle Mines 
  • Gaspar Claus - Jo Ha Kyū 
  • Axel Dörner & Mark Sanders - Stonecipher  
  • John Edwards & Okkyung Lee - White Cable, Black Wires  
  • Kristoff K. Roll & Daunik Lazro - Chants du Milieu  
  • Parque - The Earworm Versions  
  • SPUNK - Das Wohltemperierte SPUNK  
  • Mikołaj Trzaska - Gra Różę  
  • Okkyung Lee - Ghil   
  • Looper - Matter  
  • Mohammad - Som Sakrifis
  • Nate Wooley - (9) Syllables  
  • Streifenjunko - Sval Torv (released dec. 2012)
  • Joe McPhee/Thurston Moore/Bill Nace - Last Notes 
  • Various Artists: Long Story Short  (Martin)
  • Matana Roberts: Coin Coin Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile  
  • Anthony Braxton: Echo Echo Mirror House 
  • Yves Reichmuth Quartet - Fingertongue 
  • Elliot Sharp Aggregat - Quintet  (to be reviewed)  
  • Frank Gratkowski, Philip Greenlief, Jon Raskin: All At Once 
  • Common Objects - Live In Morden Tower (to be reviewed) 
  • Objets Trouvés - Fresh Juice (to be reviewed) 
  • Postmarks - National Parks (to be reviewed)  
12/9 Update: a couple of late additions to the list from our reviewers (an oversight):

  • Alexander Hawkins: Song Singular
  • Dunmall, Hanslip, Gibbs & Richard: Weeping Souls
  • Tomas Challenger & Kit Downs: Wedding Music 

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.

- Free Jazz Blog


TRG said...

Brotzmann/Noble "I Am Here Where Are You"
McPhee/Parker "What/If/They Both Could Fly"
Chan/Evans/Blancarte/Weasel "Cryptocrystalline"
Sauter Millions Duo "Boanerges"

Ed Goodstein said...

Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House, Strong Place
Eric Revis/Kris Davis/Andrew Cyrille, City of Asylum
Parker/Guy/Lytton, Live at Maya Recordings Festival
Objet Trouvés (Gabriela Friedli/Co Streif/Jan Schlegel/Dieter Ulrich), Fresh Juice
Mary Halvorson Septet, Illusionary Sea
Ellery Eskelin/Susan Alcorn/Michael Formanek, Mirage

Anonymous said...

Hera with special guest Hamid Drake - Seven Lines (Multikulti Project)

Miguel Vidal said...

- Joana Sá & Luís José Martins, ALMOST A SONG
- Peter Evans/Evan Parker/Craig Taborn/Sam Pluta, ROCKET SCIENCE
- Trumpets and Drums, LIVE IN LJUBLYANA
- Pascal Niggenkemper Vision7, LUCKY PRIME
- Ches Smith And These Arches, HAMMERED
- Rob Mazurek Octet, SKULL SESSIONS
- Sten Sandell, MUSIC INSIDE THE LANGUAGE (from 2011)
- Mary Halvorson Septet, ILLUSIONARY SEA
- Eskelin/S. Alcorn/Formanek, MIRAGE

Many thanks for Free Jazz Blog Review Team !!!


reader said...

John Butcher, Tony Buck, Magda Mayas & Burkhard Stangl - Plume (Unsounds)

John Butcher, Thomas Lehn & John Tilbury - Exta (Fataka)

Petter O Hanna - Rendition of a Whisper (Gigafon)

precision said...

- Benoît Delbecq and Fred Hersch Double Trio - Fun House [Songlines]
- Dawn Of Midi - Dysnomia (Thirsty Ear)
- Ellery Eskelin, Michael Formanek, Susan Alcorn - Mirage (Clean Feed)
- Fire! - (Without Noticing) (Rune Grammofon)
- Hera with special guest Hamid Drake - Seven Lines (Multikulti)
- John Butcher, Thomas Lehn & John Tilbury - Exta (Fataka)
- John Tchicai, Charlie Kohlhase, Garrison Fewell, Cecil McBee, Billy Hart - Tribal Ghost [No Business]
- Mikolaj Trzaska - Mikolaj Trzaska Gra Roze (Kilogram)
- Mikrokolektyw - Absent Minded (Delmark)
- Plaistow - Citadelle [Two Gentlemen]
- RED Trio - Rebento (NoBusiness)
- RGG - Szymanowski (Fonografika)
- Shofar - Ha-Huncvot (Kilogram)
- Samuel Blaser & Benoit Delbecq & Gerry Hemingway - Fourth Landscape (Nuscope)
- Splashgirl - Field Day Rituals (Hubro)
- Stefano Battaglia Trio - Songways (ECM)
- The Claudia Quintet - September (Cuneiform)
- The Necks - Open (Fish of Milk_ReR Megacorp.)
- Tim Berne's Snakeoil - Shadow Man (ECM)
- Waclaw Zimpel Quartet - Stone Fog (For Tune)

Anonymous said...

Zebulon\Peter Evans:

Matter Anti-Matter\ Rob Mazurek Exploding Star Orchestra featuring Roscoe Mitchell and Solo Electronic Works

Beija Flors Velho E Sujo\ Sao Paulo Underground

Also, how about 2013 best reissues?

George Staicu said...

few more personal additions:
Frank Rosaly - Cicada Music
Jeremiah Cymerman - Sky Burial
Stirrup - Sewn
Angles 9 − In our midst
The Thing - Boot!
Resonance Ensemble - Head Above Water

Anonymous said...

Taylor Ho Bynum "Navigation"

Mary Halvorson Septet "Illusionary Sea"

Anonymous said...

Parker/Guy/Lytton, Live at Maya Recordings Festival
John Butcher, Thomas Lehn & John Tilbury - Exta (Fataka)
RED Trio - Rebento (NoBusiness)
Rodrigo Amado Motion Trio + Jeb Bishop - The Flame Alphabet (NoTTwo)
Lotte Anker, Rodrigo Pinheiro, Hernani Faustino - Birthmark (Clean Feed)
Thomas Heberer & Achim Kaufmann - Knoten (Red Toucan)
Steve Dalachinsky, Joëlle Léandre ‎– The Bill Has Been Paid (Dark Tree)
Alvin Fielder, David Dove, Jason Jackson, Damon Smith - From-To-From, BPA015
John Edwards, Okkyung Lee - White Cable, Black Wires ‎(Fataka)


Anch said...

— Made to Break, «Lacerba»
— Sean Moran Small Elephant Band, «Tusk»

Mike said...

Pascal Niggenkemper Vision7, LUCKY PRIME

Rui Antonio said...

Red Trio - Rebento (NoBusiness)
Nate Wooley, Hugo Antunes, Giovanni Di Domenico, Daniele Martini, Chris Corsano ‎– Posh Scorch (Orre)
Dawson-Davies: Hen Ogledd - S/T (alt.vinyl)
Steve Baczkowski, Chris Corsano, Greg Kelley, Bill Nace ‎– Live At Spectacle (Open Mouth)
Mary Halvorson Septet - Illusionary Sea (Firehouse 12 Records)
The Bureau of atomic tourism - Arco Idaho (Rat Records)
Christian & Christian Meaas Svendsen Winther - w/M (Va Fongool)
Patrick Farmer & David Lacey - Pictures of Men (Copy for Your Records)
Sult - Harm (Bocian Records)

bdraa said...

Decoy with Joe McPhee - Spontaneous Combustion (Otoroku)

Kenny said...

Satoko Fujii Ma-Do - Time Stands Still
Fire! Orchestra - Exit!
September Trio - The Destructive Element
Jonathan Finlayson & Sicilian Defense - Moment & The Message
Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House - Strong Place
Convergence Quartet - Slow & Steady
Kaze - Tornado
Mary Halvorson Septet - Illusionary Sea
Eric Revis Trio - City of Asylum
Curtis Hasselbring - Number Stations

Richard said...

I'm surprised that Kit Downes and Tom Challenger-Wedding Music didn't make it. Joe invented the term Gothic Jazz for
it and gave it 5 stars. It's certainly one of the most unique albums I've heard this year.

I also wanted to mention Daniel Menche who hasn't been discussed here. I only discovered his 2012 album Guts this year. He's credited with playing "abused and thrashed piano guts". It's basically unprepared piano. But he uses looping in his recording so that the resulting sound is almost trancelike and reminds me of Nate Wooley's The Almond.
It's really extraordinary. This year's album is Marriage of Metals, where he uses the same techniques on a gamelan
(which fortunately wasn't destroyed in the process!).

Richard said...

Let me also agree with a bunch of the previous comments. First Ken Vandermark's Made To Break albums definitely qualify as innovative in my book.

Mirage by Eskelin/Formanek/Alcorn certainly.

And Jeremiah Cymerman-Sky Burial.

Julien Palomo said...

- Sabu Toyozumi/Mischa Mengelberg: "The Untrammeled Traveler" (Chap Chap records)
- Dave Burrell/David Tamura/Joe Chonto: "Conception" (Some Real Music)
- The Cosmosamatics (Sonny Simmons/Michael Marcus): "Jazz-Maalika" (Saptakjazz)
- Alan Silva/Roger Turner: "Plug In" (Long Song Records)
- Jean-Luc Capozzo/Géraldine Keller: "Air Prints" (Ayler Records)
- UMBI (Jeffrey Shurdut/Gene Janas/Vinnie Paternostro/Matt Luczak): "UMBI" (Muteant Sounds Netlabel)

Julien Palomo said...

How could I forget:
- Kalaparusha: "Musical Blessing" (CIMP Records).

Pierre Yves said...

John Hébert - Benoît Delbecq - Gerald Cleaver
Floodstage (1cd clean feed )

Gennaro said...

Matana ROBERTS - Coin Coin Chapter 2 Mississippi Moonchile
FIRE - without noticing
Ellery ESKELIN - trio New York II
HERA w/ Hamid DRAKE - Seven Lines
Rob MAZUREK - Matter AntiMatter
Ken VANDERMARK's RESONANCE Ensamble - head above water
Joe MCPHEE - sonic elements
TRESPASS + Joe MCPHEE - Human encore
Harris EISENSTADT - The destructive element
The CONVERGENCE Quartet - slow and steady
Lotte ANKER - Birthmark
MOPDTK - slippery rock

Dan Star said...

I like many of these nominations. I can only think of one more album that deserves to be considered seriously, and that is Simon H. Fell -- "Positions & Descriptions".

Stef said...

Great stuff! Keep it coming

edo said...

Barry Guy New Orchestra Small Formations: Mad Dogs
Agnel/Edwards/Noble: Meteo
Decoy /w Joe McPhee: Spontaneous combustion
DKV + Gustafsson + Pupillo + Nilssen-Love: Schl8hof
Survival unit III: Game theory
Brotzmann/Noble: I am here where are you
Brotzmann: Solo at Dobialab
Wheelhouse: Boss of the plain
Rara Avis: Mutations/Multicellular Mutations
Joe McPhee: Sonic elements
Various Artists: Long Story Short
Gustafsson/Moore: Vi Ar Alla Guds Slavar
Fire! Orchestra: Exit
Fire!: (Without Noticing)
Trumpets and drums: Live in Ljubljana
Pipeline: Pipeline
Iskra 1903: South on the northern (reissue)
Joe McPhee Nation Time box set (reissue)

joesh said...

Hi Richard

Yes, thanks for that comment. I did indeed vote for that album, but somehow it slipped through the net. If anyone reads this comment - and that of Richard - I can say that Tom Challenger and Kit Downs record "Wedding Music" would be my top album for the year, hands down.

All the best - Joe

Matthew said...

Tiger Hatchery - Sun Worship

Thurston Moore & John Zorn - "@"

Jojo Hiroshige, Pika, Lasse Marhaug, Paal Nilsen-Love - Osaka Fortune

Jim Sauter & Kid Millions - Beaneries

Fergus said...

(Perhaps my favourite, although we known these folks too well...) Otomo Yoshihide/Sachiko M/Evan Parker/John Edwards/Tony Marsh/John Butcher: Quintet/Sextet (Otoroku)
CACAW: Stellar Power (Skirl)
Niggenkemper 7: Lucky Prime (Clean Feed)
John Tchicai et al: Tribal Ghost (NoBusiness)
Fire! Orchestra: Exit! (Rune Grammofon)
("Xe" wins the award for most harrowing ballad) Trespass Trio + Joe Mcphee: Human Encore (Clean Feed)
John Tilbury/Oren Ambarchi: The Just Reproach (Black Truffle)

Anonymous said...


Nate Wooley - Seven Storey Mountain 3 & 4 (Pleasure of the text, 2013)

Anonymous said...

Keefe Jackson's record is REALLY good..

joesh said...

Thanks for the Daniel Menche suggestion, looks very interesting - from what I've seen on his blog and the record company website!

Anonymous said...

Power Of The Horns - Alaman (For Tune Records)
Wacław Zimpel Quartet - Stone Fog (ForTune Records)
Mikrokolektyw - Absent Minded (Delmark)


Anonymous said...

Hera with special guest Hamid Drake - Seven Lines (Multikulti)

Anonymous said...

Colin Stetson, New History Warfare, Vol. 3

Eargasm said...

An indispensable treat from this year's sonic harvest:
James Plotkin & Paal Nilssen-Love Death Rattle (Rune Grammofon, 2013)

Anonymous said...

Simply indispensable:

James Plotkin & Paal Nilssen-Love Death Rattle (Rune Grammofon, 2013)