Sunday, December 7, 2014

Happy New Ears 2014

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 from our reviewers:

  • Akira Sakata - Arashi
  • Alexander Hawkins Ensemble: Step Wide, Step Deep
  • Anna Webber - Simple
  • Antunes, Wooley and Corsano - Malus 
  • Battle Trance - Palace of Wind 
  • Bogan Ghost - Zerfall 
  • Denman Maroney & Hans Tammen - Arson
  • EFT - Spatial Awareness 
  • Fennesz - Becs
  • Flying Lotus - You're Dead
  • Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut - The Music of Everything - BFP 
  • Jeremiah Cymerman - Pale Horse 
  • Jeremiah Cymerman, Evan Parker, Nate Wooley – World of Objects
  • Joe Morris Quartet - Balance 
  • John Coltrane - Offering: Live at Temple University
  • John Edwards, Mark Sanders, John Tilbury – A Field Perpetually at the Edge of Disorder
  • Jorrit Dijkstra - Music for Reeds and Electronics 
  • Ken Vandermark - Sound in Motion in Sound
  • Ken Vandermark - Nine Ways to Build a Bridge
  • Kyle Bruckmann's Wrack - ...Awaits Silent Tristero's Empire 
  • Lotte Anker & Jakob Riis - Squid Police
  • Marc Ducret: Tower-Bridge
  • Mats Gustafsson NU Ensemble: Hidros 6 - Knockin'
  • Michael Francis Duch – Tomba Emmanuelle
  • N.E.W - Motion 
  • Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble - Intergalactic Beings
  • Robin Hayward - Nouveau Saxhorn Nouveau Basse
  • Steve Lehman Octet - Mise en Abime
  • Syrinx Effect - Snail Songs 
  • The Rempis/Marhaug Duo - Naancore
  • Waclaw Zimpel To Tu Orchestra – Nature Moves
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


  1. Sei Miguel - Salvation Modes

  2. Farmers by Nature: Love and ghost

  3. Franco D'Andrea - Monk & the time machine
    Made to Break - Cherchez la femme
    Angles 9 - Injuries
    Side A - In the abstract
    Variable Density Sound Orch. - Evolving Strategies
    Audio One - An international report
    Audio One - The Midwest School
    Fire Orch. - Enter
    Pharoah & The Underground
    Adam Lane Full Throttle Orch. - Live in Ljubljana
    Jason Ajemian - Folklords
    Farmers by Nature - Love & Ghosts
    Lean Left - Live at Area Sismica
    Zion 80 - Adramelech
    T. Sorey - Alloy
    Wadada Leo Smith - The Great Lakes Suites
    Ken Vandermark & Paal Nilssen-Love - Extended Duos

  4. Tyshawn Sorey - Alloy

    Hugues Vincent & Yasumune Morishige - Fragment

  5. Marc Ribot Trio - Live at Village Vanguard
    Medeski, Martin & Wood + Nels Cline - Woodstock Sessions, Vol. 2
    Peter Van Huffel's Gorilla Mask - Bite My Blues

  6. Evan Parker, Peter Evans, Craig Taborn, Sam Pluta- Rocket Science
    Nicole Mitchell's Sonic Projections - The Secret Escapades of Velvet Anderson
    Farmers by Nature - Love and Ghosts
    Peter Evans Quintet - Destination : Void
    Wadada Leo Smith - The Great Lake Suite
    Emile Parisien Quartet - Spezial Snack
    Steve Lehman Octet - Mise-en-abime
    Made to Break - Cherchez la Femme

  7. Jameel Moondoc The Zookeeper's House
    Jozef Dumoulin & The Red Hill Orchestra - Trust
    Audio One - The Midwest School / An International Report
    Damian Allegretti - Stoddard Place

  8. Kevin Drumm/Jason Lescalleet - The Abyss

  9. Paal Nilssen-Love Large Unit - Erta Ale
    Tyshawn Sorey - Alloy
    Willi Kellers Quartet - Life in a Black Box
    Thomas Heberer, Pascal Niggenkemper - Miner's Pick
    Roscoe Mitchell - Conversations with Craig Taborn and Kikanju Baku (volumes 1 + 2)
    Adam Lane's Full Throttle Orchestra - Live in Ljubljana
    Hugues Vincent, Yasumune Morishige - Fragment

  10. Michael Jefry Stevens/Dom Minasi
    "Angel's Dance" - NACHT Records

  11. And my list, even if some 2013 albums figure on it.
    Luis Vicente, Pinheiro, Faustino & Franco - Clocks & Clouds
    Hugues Vincent & Yasumune Morishige - Fragment (Improvising Beings, 2014)
    Magda Mayas, Damon Smith & Tony Buck - Spill Plus
    East-West Collective - Humeurs
    The Apophonics - On Air (Weight Of Wax, 2013)
    Skogen - Despairs Had Governed Me Too Long (Another Timbre, 2014)
    Samuel Blaser Consort In Motion - A Mirror To Machaut (Songlines,2013)
    Jeremiah Cymerman - Pale Horse (5049 Records, 2014)

  12. Joelle Leandre & Pascale Contet-3

    I also agree with a previous commenter that Kevin Drumm/Jason Lescalleet - The Abyss is deserving. If we have expanded the domain of this website to include things like Fennesz and Flying Lotus, then this certainly qualifies. If you wanted something along the same lines but more in a jazz tradition, the album by Dan Peck and the Gate should qualify.

    Finally, if we are going to cheat a bit and let the Samuel Blaser album that Stef cite be eligible,
    then by all means put it on the list.

  13. A couple more...

    John Escreet - Sounds, Space and Structures
    Roscoe Mitchell - Conversations 1 & 2

  14. ... let the room outgrow the walls ...

    Vanessa Rossetto - Whole Stories

  15. Ballister - Both Ends,
    Roscoe Mitchell - Conversations I II,
    Ken Vandermark, Paal Nilssen-Love ‎– Lightning Over Water
    Farmers by Nature - Love and Ghosts
    Wadada Leo Smith - The Great Lakes Suites
    Anthony Braxton ‎– 12 Duets (DCWM) 2012
    Joe McPhee, Chris Corsano ‎– Dream Defenders
    Broetzmann, Adasiewicz, Edwards, Noble ‎– Mental Shake

  16. Brötzmann, Edwards, Noble ‎– Soulfood Available
    Audio One - The Midwest School / An International Report

  17. Ivo Perelman - Book of Sound
    Jemeel Moondoc - The Zookeeper's House
    Joëlle Léandre & Michael Duch - (Live at) Gråmølna
    Daunik Lazro & Joelle Leandre - Hasparren
    Wadada Leo Smith - The Great Lakes Suites

  18. My top ten this year probably looks like this, in no particular order:

    Angles 9 - Injuries
    Farmers By Nature - Love & Ghosts
    Taylor Ho Bynum & Tomas Fujiwara - Through Foundation
    Tony Malaby's Tamarindo - Somos Agua
    Marc Ribot Trio - Live at the Village Vanguard
    Tyshawn Sorey - Alloy
    Aki Takase & Alexander Von Schlippenbach - So Long, Eric!
    David Virelles - Mboko
    Anna Webber - Simple
    Zion 80 - Adramelech

  19. Machine Mass feat. Dave Liebman - Inti (MoonJune Records)

    Angelica Sanchez & Wadada Leo Smith - Twine Forest (Clean Feed)
    (the review came too late for the 2013 survey)

    Tyshawn Sorey - Alloy (Pi Recordings)

  20. William Parker, Collection,“Flute Songs”
    Agusti Fernandez & Mats Gustafsson, “Constellations”
    Ken Vandermark’s Audio One, “International Report”
    Paal Nilson-Love, Large Unit, “Erta Ale”
    Akira Sakata & Giovani di Domenico “iruman”
    Made to Break ,“Cherchez la Femme”
    Ken Vandermark’s Audio One, “Midwest School”*
    Ballister , “Worse for the Wear”
    Vandermark, Paap Nilssen-Love, “Lighting over Water”
    Young Mother’s, “A Mothers Work is Never Done”

  21. Outstanding lists!

    Just to add a couple not mentioned previously:

    Rob Mazurek and Black Cube SP - Return the Tides: Ascension Suite and Holy Ghost (Cuneiform)

    Kenny Wollesen et al - Rasa Rasa (Tzadik)

    konstruKt & Joe McPhee - Babylon
    konstruKt & Marshall Allen - Live At Sant'Anna Arresi Jazz Festival (Roaratorio)

    The "A" Trio - Live in Nickelsdorf (Roaratorio)


  22. Akira Sakata & Giovanni Di Domenico - Iruman
    Pharoah And The Underground
    Wadada Leo Smith - The Great Lakes Suite
    Ethnic Heritage Ensemble - Black Is Back

  23. Akira Sakata & Giovani di Domenico “Iruman”
    konstruKt & Marshall Allen double LP on Holidays

    And thanks to the two kind souls who put Hugues Vincent & Morishige on their lists :)

  24. For what i listen this year, here´s my selection but always with the enormous help and tremendous dedication of COLLECTIVE Free Jazz blog!

    Thank you!

    - Vicente,Pinheiro, faustino e Franco, "Clocks and Clouds" (FMR)
    - Rodrigo Amado, "Wire Quartet" (Clean Feed)
    - Rob Mazurek, "Return the Tides" (Cuneiform)
    - Hugues Vincent & Yasumune Morishige, "Fragments" (Improvising Beings)
    - East-west Collective, "Humeurs" (Rogue Arte)
    - Syrinx Effect, "Snail Songs"
    - Farmers by Nature, "Love & Ghosts" (AUM)
    - Chicago / São Paulo Underground Feact. Pharoah Sanders, "Spiral Mercury" (Clean Feed)
    - Peter Van Huffel´s Gorilla Mask, "Bite my Blues" (Clean Feed)
    - Fail Better! , "Zero Sum" (JACC Records)
    - Rodrigo Amado Motion Trio & Peter Evans, "The Freedom Principle" (No Business)
    - Joana Gama / Luís Fernandes, "Quest", (Shhpuma Records)

  25. Sam Pluta & Peter Evans “Event Horizon” (Carrier Records)
    Thurston Moore and Margarida Garcia “The Rust within their Throats” (Headlights)
    Rodrigo Amado Motion Trio & Peter Evans, "The Freedom Principle" (No Business)
    Vicente,Pinheiro, Faustino & Franco, "Clocks and Clouds" (FMR)
    Crys Cole / Oren Ambarchi ‎– Sonja Henies Vei 31 (Planam)
    Danae Stefanou “Herewith” (Holotype)
    Dj Sniff “Incredulous cuts” (Doubtmusic)
    Jeremiah Cymerman - Pale Horse (5049 Records)
    RED Trio & Mattias Ståhl “North And The Red Stream” (NoBusiness)

  26. Ballister - The Ballister Monologues
    Satoko Fujii Orchestra NY - Shiki
    Masahiko Satoh, Paal Nilssen-Love ‎– Spring Snow
    Ballister - Worse for the Wear
    Barry Guy - Five Fizzles For Samuel Beckett
    Wadada Leo Smith, George Lewis, John Zorn ‎– Sonic Rivers
    Barry Guy New Orchestra Small Formations ‎– Mad Dogs On The Loose

  27. - Die Hochstapler "The Braxtornette Project" (umlaut records) a great Supplement to their amazing concert at Météo Festival Mulhouse this year
    - The Whammies "Play the Music of Steve Lacy, Vol. 3" (Driff Records)
    - Made To Break "Cherchez la femme" (Trost Records)

    Greetings from North Germany

  28. Angles 9 - Injuries
    Fire Orch. - Enter
    and......Swans - to be kind


  29. + Fergus Kelly >>>Unnatural Actuality>>>


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