Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Free Jazz Blog's 2019 Top 10s

Anthony Braxton, No. 289
This past year has been a dynamic one for the blog: we welcomed a bunch of new ears to the collective, received over 2000 recordings and requests for reviews, and counted over 1.63 million pageviews. We reported on festivals in the USA (Big Ears, No Idea, Vision Fest and Winter Jazz Fest) and Europe (Wels Unlimited, Jazz em Agosto, Jazzfest Berlin, A L'arme, Jazz Festival Saarbrücken) and even attended a few others, but in disguise. As always, the incredible amount of excellent new recordings, from the established masters to the newcomers, along with a plethora of historical recordings and issues continues to humble and astound.

We've tried to cover as much as we can on the Free Jazz Blog, and today, we look back over the year with our annual gathering of the collective's top ten recordings of the year. Twenty one contributors, 219 recordings (this is one list of nine, can you spot it?), and 144 unique entries.  We have entered the recordings into a spreadsheet, calculated the top recordings, and now the collective will now be voting on the album of the year from this list of the top 15. We'll present the winner of our poll on January 1. Here is the list:

  • Anna Webber - Clockwise (Pi Recordings)
  • Bill Dixon & Cecil Taylor - Duets 1992 (Triple Point Records)
  • Christian Lillinger: Open Form for Society (Plaist)
  • David Torn, Tim Berne & Ches Smith - Sun Of Goldfinger (ECM)
  • Derek Bailey/Han Bennink/Evan Parker - Topographie Parisienne, Dunois, April 3d, 1981 (Fou Records)
  • Eliane Radigue- Occam Ocean 2 (Shiiin)*(review forthcoming)
  • Fire! Orchestra - Arrival (Rune Grammofon)
  • Jaimie Branch - Fly Or Die II: Bird Dogs of Paradise (International Anthem)
  • James Brandon Lewis - An UnRuly Manifesto (Relative Pitch)
  • Jessica Pavone String Ensemble - Brick and Mortar (Birdwatcher Records)
  • Matana Roberts - Coin Coin Chapter Four: Memphis (Constellation Records)
  • Microtub - Chronic Shift (Bohemian Drips)
  • Nate Wooley - Columbia Icefield (Northern Spy)
  • Susan Alcorn, Joe McPhee & Ken Vandermark - Invitation To a Dream (Astral Spirits)
  • Whit Dickey / The Tao Quartets - Box of Light & Peace Planet (AUM Fidelity)
Obviously, these kinds of things aren't without biases, intended or (most often) not. So it's at this time of year that we also like to make our new ears resolution to listen to as much as possible, across and irrespective of boundaries. As you enjoy the year end holidays and take a little break from the whirlwind around you, check out what the collective has been listening to and please let us know about your own essential albums of the year.
- Paul

Paul Acquaro

This list doesn't account for archival releases like all of those great Company albums, Bill Dixon & Cecil Taylor's Duets 1992, or the lovely Peter Kowald Duo's re-release, but for better or worse, here goes:

  • Rodrigo Amado & Chris Corsano- No Place to Fall (Astral Spirits, 2019)
  • Ken Vandermark - Momentum 4 - Consequent Duos 2015-2019 (Audiographic, 2019)
  • Tomeka Reid - Old New (Cuneiform, 2019)
  • James Brandon Lewis - An UnRuly Manifesto (Relative Pitch, 2019)
  • Bill Frisell & Thomas Morgan - Epistrophy (ECM, 2019)
  • Angelika Niescer, Christopher Tordini, Gerald Gleaver. Jonathan Finlayson - New York Trio (Intakt, 2019)
  • Jaimie Branch - Fly or Die II - Bird Dogs of Paradise (International Anthem, 2019)
  • João Lencastre’s Communion 3 - Song(s) of Hope (Clean Feed, 2019)
  • Basement Research — Impromptus and Other Short Stories (WhyPlayJazz, 2019)
  • SLD Trio - El Contorno Del Espacio (Fundacja Słuchaj, 2019)

Kian Banihashemi

  • Matana Roberts - Coin Coin Chapter Four: Memphis (Constellation, 2019)
  • Oren Ambarchi - Simian Angel (Mego, 2019)
  • Fennesz - Agora (Touch, 2019)
  • Ralph Alessi - Imaginary Friends (ECM, 2019)
  • Fire! Orchestra - Arrival (Rune Grammofon, 2019)
  • Mary Lattimore & Mac McCaughan - New Rain Duets (Three Lobed Recordings, 2019)
  • Félicia Atkinson - The Flower and the Vessel (Shelter Press, 2019)
  • Tyshawn Sorey & Marilyn Crispell - The Adornment of Time (Pi, 2019)
  • Joe McPhee / John Butcher - At the Hill of James Magee (Trost, 2019)
  • DKV Trio & Joe McPhee - The Fire Each Time (Not Two, 2019)

 Stuart Broomer

These are definitely not ranked (How do people even do that?), each instead being individually cherished.
  • Microtub Chronic Shift (Ace Tunes/Bohemian Drips) -Three microtonal tubists (Robin Hayward, Peder Simonsen and Martin Taxt) are special enough; heard in a Berlin water tank, with synthesizer tones added, they combine severe and gentle notions of beauty.
  • Anthony Braxton New Haven (Quartet) 2014 (Firehouse 12) - These four, hour-long, quartet improvisations with Taylor Ho Bynum, Nels Cline and Greg Saunier find their own edges, musical languages simultaneously clashing, complementing and extending the possibilities.
  • Evan Parker/ Matt Wright Trance + Crepuscule in Nickelsdorf (Intakt) - Amid a bevy of brilliant Parker sessions released in 2019, this one develops its own lyricism, compounded of memory, electricity and echo.
  • Phil Minton/ John Butcher/ Gino Robair Blasphemious Fragments (Rastascan) - Three musicians with histories invent a music without one. Its processes suggest gene splitting, a continuous stream of splices of different sonic bits—collective genius and a new idea of the musical organism.
  • Bertrand Denzler Arc (Potlatch) - A dream of strings (“bow…with both hair and wood”) continues decades of reveries on the independent life of sound.
  • Patrick Brennan/ Abdul Moimeme Terraphonia (Creative Sources) - Two musicians from different planes of there arrive in their own utopian hear.
  • Petter Eldh Koma Saxo (We Jazz) - If you think free jazz is further freed when run backwards, you’ll appreciate bassist/producer Eldh, drummer Christian Lillinger and saxophonists Otis Sandsjö, Jonas Kullhammar and Mikko Innanen cutting and pasting, honking and wailing, mixing and maxing spell and collage.
  • Zlatko Kaucic Quintet Morning Patches (fundacja słuchaj) - Collectively improvised music that sounds composed (in the best possible way, achieving a perfect collective form). Among the group’s distinguished members, Michael Moore and Albert Cirera bring ideally unrelated saxophone sounds to the project.
  • Nate Wooley Columbia Icefield (Northern Spy) - Wondrously Apollonian music from a quartet with guitarist Mary Halvorson, slide guitarist Susan Alcorn and drummer Ryan Sawyer.
  • From Wolves to Whales Strandwal (Aerophonic)  - On this two-CD set of a Netherlands performance, Nate Wooley, Dave Rempis, Pascal Niggenkemper and Chris Corsano play multi-dimensional free jazz with as much form and passion as anyone might hope for.

 Tom Burris

I feel like there are so many albums that I still haven't heard... I left out all new releases of old material, so no Coltrane, Cecil, Derek Bailey, Dolphy, etc. These were the ones I heard the most in 2019.
  • Tim Daisy’s Vox 4 - Roman Poems (Relay, 2019) - Please welcome Macie Stewart to the Vox project, who helps turn the venture into a whole new animal. Absolutely stunning performances from everyone & stands as my favorite Daisy recording to date.
  • Jaimie Branch - Fly Or Die II: Bird Dogs of Paradise (International Anthem, 2019) - God bless Jaimie Branch (and Moor Mother too) for calling out the evil bastards of the world consistently and relentlessly. Psychedelia with its middle finger way up high. How ironic that it still feels like a sonic hug that makes my sad ol’ heart swell with admiration.
  • Susan Alcorn, Joe McPhee, Ken Vandermark - Invitation To A Dream (Astral Spirits, 2019) - Happy New Ears, everyone! Magical and consistently surprising on every level. A goddamn marvel.
  • Nick Mozzarella Trio - Counterbalance (Astral Spirits, 2019) - A classically free jazz trio record that is deep, mature, and aged to perfection.
  • Bill Orcutt - Odds Against Tomorrow (Palilalia, 2019) - Orcutt digs deeper into the old weird America and her blues on his latest solo album of idiosyncratic four-string stunners. Best one yet.
  • Kuzu - Lift To Drag (Medium Sound, 2019) - Aren’t cassettes supposed to be inferior? This huge oversight on the part of Kuzu and Medium Sound sets them up for spectacular failure. We win!
  • Whit Dickey / The Tao Quartets - Box of Light & Peace Planet (AUM Fidelity, 2019) - Two quartets, two discs, yin/yang. A thing of sprawling beauty.
  • Rodrigo Amado & Chris Corsano - No Place To Fall (Astral Spirits, 2019) - A thoughtful joyride through a monster truck rally. Great driving music, particularly if you’re prone to road rage.
  • Art Ensemble of Chicago - We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration (Pi Recordings, 2019) - Exceeds all expectations. This set also reminds you - in case you forgot for five seconds - that this year belongs to Moor Mother.
  • Fire! Orchestra - Arrival (Rune Grammofon, 2019) - Arrival is the most beautiful work I’ve heard from Fire! Orchestra. I find that it pairs well with that new FKA Twigs album, for those of you who like to dip into the pop music pool.

 Troy Dostert

  • Anna Webber, Clockwise (Pi)
  • Mark Dresser Seven, Ain’t Nothing But a Cyber Coup & You (Clean Feed)
  • Kris Davis, Diatom Ribbons (Pyroclastic)
  • Iro Haarla, Ulf Krokfors and Barry Altschul, Around Again: The Music of Carla Bley (TUM)
  • DKV and Joe McPhee, The Fire Each Time (Not Two)
  • Gabriel Zucker, Weighting (ESP-Disk)
  • Steve Baczkowski, Brandon Lopez and Chris Corsano, Old Smoke (Relative Pitch)
  • Craig Taborn and Vijay Iyer, The Transitory Poems (ECM)
  • Steph Richards, Take the Neon Lights (Birdwatcher)
  • Sylvie Courvoisier and Mark Feldman, Time Gone Out (Intakt)

Lee Rice Epstein

  • Nate Wooley - Columbia Icefield (Northern Spy, 2019)
  • Anna Webber - Clockwise (Pi Recordings, 2019)
  • David Torn, Tim Berne, Ches Smith - Sun of Goldfinger (ECM, 2019)
  • Matana Roberts - Coin Coin Chapter Four: Memphis (Constellation, 2019)
  • Susan Alcorn, Joe McPhee & Ken Vandermark - Invitation To a Dream (Astral Spirits, 2019)
  • Evan Parker & Paul G. Smyth - Calenture and Light Leaks (Weekertoft, 2019)
  • Whit Dickey Tao Quartets - Peace Planet/Box of Light (AUM Fidelity, 2019)
  • Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society - Mandatory Reality (Eremite, 2019)
  • Moppa Elliott - Jazz Band/Rock Band/Dance Band (Hot Cup, 2019)
  • Angelika Niescier - New York Trio (Intakt, 2019)

 Spencer Friedman

  • J Pavone String Ensemble - Brick and Mortar (Birdwatcher Records, 2019) - A remarkable compositional work from a vital string voice - gorgeous, delicate musicianship
  • Thurston Moore - Spirit Counsel (The Daydream Library Series, 2019) - Quite possibly the most significant music of his career. Bewildering in scope and execution, just incredible
  • Eliane Radigue- Occam Ocean 2 (Shiiin, 2019) - A stunning work from the master. Serene yet unnerving, perfect soundtrack for long subway rides
  • Lea Bertucci- Resonant Field (Resonant Field, 2019) - Another brilliant release from Bertucci, who expands her inimitable sound, resonant in many ways
  • Bill Orcutt - Odds Against Tomorrow (Palilalia Records, 2019) - Another stellar session from Orcutt -- tender and fierce
  • 75 Dollar Bill - I Was Real (Thin Wrist, 2019) - The duo's most impressive record to date -- confident, exuberant and downright fun 
  • Jaimie Branch - Fly or Die II: Bird Dogs of Paradise (International Anthem, 2019) - Branch's Fly or Die follow up does indeed not disappoint. A scorching record, with some of the best playing from 2019
  • Mary Halvorson and John Dieterich- a tangle of stars (New Amsterdam Records, 2019) - A vast, nearly "prog" album from these two guitar giants. Spirited, inventive songwriting
  • John McCowen - Mundanas I-V (Edition Wandelweiser, 2019) - Bold reed duo music -- quiet but powerful
  • Joshua Abrams and Natural Information Society - Mandatory Reality (Eremite, 2019) - Another terrific release from this essential group, perhaps more focused than ever

 Stef Gijssels

  • Bill Dixon & Cecil Taylor - Duets 1992 (Triple Point Records, 2019)
  • David Torn, Tim Berne & Ches Smith - Sun Of Goldfinger (ECM, 2019)
  • Pak Yan Lau & Lionel Malric - Duo Pour 454 Chordes (El Negocito, 2018)
  • Angles 9 - Beyond Us (Clean Feed, 2019)
  • Sei Miguel - O Carro de Fogo de Sei Miguel (Clean Feed, 2019)
  • Simon Rose & Steve Noble - North Sea Night (Not Two, 2019)
  • DKV Trio & Joe McPhee ‎– The Fire Each Time (Not Two, 2019)
  • Eve Risser - Après un Rêve (Clean Feed, 2019)
  • Ken Vandermark's Marker - New Industries (Audiographic, 2019)
  • Marcelo dos Reis, Valentin Ceccaldi, Marco Franco and Luís Vicente - Points (Multikulti, 2019)

 Colin Green

  • Whit Dickey, Tao Quartets — Peace Planet & Box of Light (AUM, 2019) - Two outstanding quartets earthed by Dickey’s drumming.
  • Fire! Orchestra — Arrival (Rune Grammofon, 2019) - Great songwriting continues to flourish in settings that linger in the memory.
  • Fictive Five — Anything is Possible (Clean Feed, 2019) - A restive quintet that provides us with clues rather than explanations.
  • Matt Mitchell — Phalanx Ambassadors (Pi Recordings 2019) - Controlled exuberance, ripplingly intricate, walking a line between impulse and calculation.
  • The Attic (Rodrigo Amado, Goncalo Almeida, Onno Govaert) — Summer Bummer (NoBusiness, 2019) - A churning, roiling trio with an unerring sense of dramatic thrust.
  • Basement Research — Impromptus and Other Short Stories (WhyPlayJazz, 2019) - Thoughtful arrangements, full of colour and bristling with energy.
  • William Parker, Rob Brown, Cooper-Moore, Hamid Drake - In Order to Survive ‎– Live / Shapeshifter (AUM, 2019) - Music that unfolds seamlessly under its own momentum.
  • Dave Rempis, Joshua Abrams, Avreeayl Ra + Jim Baker — Apsis (Aerophonic, 2019) - Another well-oiled ensemble from the persistently inventive Rempis and friends.
  • Andrew Barker & John Dikeman — All Things are Possible (Phantom Ear Music, 2018) - Dikeman continues to impress in duets for tenor and drums that flicker and spark.
  • The Way Ahead — Bells, Ghosts and Other Saints (Clean Feed, 2019) - Alluring textures and imaginative soloing from this septet, and even some free jazz hocketing.

 Steven Griffith

  • Derek Bailey, Han Bennink & Evan Parker - Topographie Parisienne (Fou Records, 2019) - This stimulated me to really listen to the topography of the lungs for the first time (there's uncredited Bennink trumpet playing on the first cut). This is like an archeological dig revealing unexpected treasures.
  • Marker - New Industries (Audiographic Records, 2019) - I like how Vandermark recorded the studio disc a couple days after a short tour. That's the way Bob Wills used to record the Tiffany transcripts he'd use to promote the Texas Playboys on his radio stations, albeit after much longer tours.
  • Tim Daisy's Vox 4 - Roman Poems (Relay Recordings, 2019) - I thought it was impossible to improve on Vox Arcana's Caro's Song. Then they added Macie Stewart.
  • Brötzmann, Schlippenbach, Bennink - Fifty Years After... (Trost Records, 2019) - When I first saw this my reaction was "I hope it really cranks". Like that was in doubt.
  • Michael Formanek Very Practical Trio - Even Better (Intakt Records, 2019) - I'd wanted to hear Berne and Halvorson in a small group setting for quite a while.
  • Blue Shroud Band - Intensegrity: The Small Formations / Odes and Meditations for Cecil Taylor (Not Two, 2019) - Admittedly I've been a fanboy of Guy's small formations for most of the decade.
  • Gard Nilssen's Acoustic Unity - To Whom Who Keeps a Record (Odin, 2019) - I get extreme enjoyment out of every release from this band.
  • Paal Nilssen-Love & Ken Vandermark - Screen Off (PNL Records, 2019) - Lasse Marhaug deserves co billing for mashing tracks of varying quality together to create something greater than the sum.
  • Joe McPhee & John Butcher - At the Hill of James Magee (Trost Records, 2019) - Conceptually intriguing and well executed.
  • Okkyung Lee - Cheol-Kkot-Sae (Steel.Flower.Bird) (Tzadik, 2018) - One of those impossible to categorize releases that piques Zorn's interest that we're all better for having.

 Eyal Hareuveni

  • Nate Wooley - Columbia Icefield (Northern Spy) - Moving, emotional piece that corresponds with personal memories and world politics and keeps resonating long after. With pedal steel master Susan Alcorn and guitarist Mary Halvorson.
  • Susan Alcorn / Joe McPhee / Ken Vandermark - Invitation To A Dream (Astral Spirits) - Another one with Alcorn. Joe McPhee belief that sometimes ”Music provides its own rational” is fully justified in the beautiful, free-improvisations of this trio.
  • Fire! Orchestra - Arrival (Rune Grammofon) - The chamber version of Mats Gustafsson’s Fire! Orchestra. Lyrical and touching. You can’t resist the cover of Chic (via Robert Wyatt) “At Last I Am Free”.
  • Per 'Texas' Johansson/Torbjörn Zetterberg/Konrad Agnas - Orakel (Moserobie) - Reeds player Per “Texas” Johansson is one of the best kept secrets of the Nordic scene. This album may convince you to find out what you have been missing all this time.
  • Emmeluth’s Amoeba - Chimaera (Øra Fonogram) - Danish sax player proves to be one of the promising voices in the Nordic scene, leading her powerful quartet on its sophomore album (and being recruited by Paal Nilssen-Love to his Large Unit.
  • Brötzmann, Schlippenbach & Bennink - Fifty Years After... (Live at the Lila Eule, Bremen, 26/05/2018) (Trost) - These three lions have seen all, been all over and played with all the usual suspects, for more than fifty years, and still have the passion, power, fire and, obviously, wisdom.
  • Toh-Kichi - Baikamo (Libra) - The most unlikely duo in Japanese free music - pianist Satoko Fujii and drummer Tatsuya Yoshida (of Ruins) return more than a decade after their Vulcan quartet and their Toh-Kichi duo disbanded, fully charged with fresh ultra-volcanic energy. 
  • Frances-Marie Uitti & Elliott Sharp - Peregrinations (zOaR) - More than twenty years after their first free-improvised duet, cellist Frances-Marie Uitti and prolific guitarist-sax player-composer return to another round of beautifully imaginative and nuanced duets. 
  • Sunn O))) - Life Metal (Southern Lord) - Stephen O’Malley says that distortion is important “because it’s showing decay in real time somehow”. You can easily get addicted to Sunn O))) meditative-distorted-metal drones.
  • Vilhelm Bromander & Fredrik Rasten - ...For Some Reason That Escapes Us (Differ) - More drones, but of the lyrical-melancholic kind by this fine duo of Swedish double bass player and fantastic Norwegian guitarist.
  • Reissue:
    The Quintet - Events 1998-1999 (PNL) - 
    Historical 5-discs box that chronicles a turning point in the Norwegian jazz, the rise of new lions generation headed by Paal Nilssen-Love that still learns and collaborate with the elders sax player Carl Magnus Neumann and double bass player Bjørnar Andresen.

 William Kautz

  • Tyshawn Sorey - The Adornment of Time (Pi Recordings)
  • Steph Richards - Take the Neon Lights (Birdwatcher)
  • William Parker/In Order to Survive - Live Shapeshifter (AUM Fidelity)
  • Elder Ones - From Untruth (Northern Spy)
  • Nick Fraser, Kris Davis and Tony Malaby - Zoning (Astral Spirits)
  • David S. Ware New Quartet-Live at Theatre Garonne 2008 (AUM Fidelity)
  • Matt Mitchell-Phalanx Ambassadors (Pi Recordings)
  • Joshua Abrams and Natural Information Society-Mandatory Reality (Eremite)
  • Matana Roberts-  Coin Coin Chapter 4: Memphis (Constellation)
  • Sarah Belle Reid - Underneath and Sonder (pfMENTUM)

 Taylor McDowell

  • Chris Corsano, Bill Nace, Steve Baczkowski - Mystic Beings (Open Mouth, 2018) - I'll start my list with a late 2018 guitar/sax/drums album that melted my face off the first time I heard it, and still does to this day. An explosive yet coherent exploration of timbre, energy, and noise.
  • Arashi - Jikan (PNL Records, 2019) - This is an inspired, take no prisoners live set from one of the fieriest working trios. Can't get enough of them.
  • DKV & Joe McPhee - The Fire Each Time (Not Two, 2019) - McPhee is a perfect companion to this well-oiled machine. Six CDs of music here, yet every minute is a thrill.
  • Evan Parker & Paul G. Smyth - Calenture and Light Leaks (Weekertoft, 2019) - Easily one of the finest duo statements I've heard and my favorite Parker release from the last few years. Mesmerizing.
  • Peter Brotzmann & Heather Leigh - South Moon Under (s/r, 2019) - This is the soundtrack to my early morning walks, or for watching birds fly. Sounds weird? Seriously, go try it.
  • David Torn, Tim Berne, Ches Smith - Sun of Goldfinger (ECM, 2019) - I still remember the first time listening to this. It felt like the passing of a hurricane overhead, at the moment the eye passes by and the storm surges again.
  • Vijay Iyer & Craig Taborn - The Transitory Poems (ECM, 2019) - Iyer and Taborn connect on such an intimate level here. Twenty fingers and 176 keys, but they perform as a single organism.
  • Susan Alcorn, Joe McPhee, Ken Vandermark - Invitation to a Dream (Astral Spirits, 2019) - McPhee and Vandermark must have impressed me this year, as did pedal steel guitarists. I really hope to hear more from this trio.
  • Stephan Crump, Ingrid Laubrock, Cory Smythe - Channels (Intakt, 2019) - I get the feeling that these three were meant to play together. Egoless, fluid, conversational, confident - like listening to three longtime friends banter.
  • Kuzu - Lift to Drag (Medium Sound, 2019) - I'll bookend my list with an end-of-the-year guitar/sax/drums record that really bites. This one thrashes hard and grooves harder, and yet I seem to hear new things with each listen.

 Dave Menestres

  • Fay Victor - Barn Songs (Northern Spy)
  • Andrea Parkins & Matthew Ostrowski - Elective Affinities (Infrequent Seams)
  • Nick Dunston - Atlantic Extraction (Out of Your Head)
  • Jessica Ackerley - A New Kind of Water (self released, see also ESSi’s Vital Creatures on Ramp Local)
  • The Art Ensemble of Chicago - We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration (Pi Recordings)
  • Somersaults - Numerology of Birdsongs (West Hill)
  • J. Pavone String Ensemble - Brick and Mortar (Birdwatcher Records)
  • Bill Orcutt - Odds Against Tomorrow (Palilalia)
  • Catherine Sikora - Warrior (self released)
  • Angel Bat Dawid - The Oracle (International Anthem)

     Nick Metzger

    My Top 10 are listed below in no particular order. I didn’t include any reissues or archive recordings, although this has been a year of many terrific instances of such. I’ve also found my subscription to Kevin Drumm’s Bandcamp page to be worth more than the price of admission (which is almost nothing, all things considered) much to the detriment of my reviewing responsibilities.

    • Christian Lillinger’s Open Form For Society (Plaist)
    • Ben Stapp & Joe Morris featuring Stephen Haynes – Mind Creature Sound Dasein (Fundacja Słuchaj)
    • Rose/Noble – North Sea Night (Not Two)
    • O Carro De Fogo De Sei Miguel (Clean Feed)
    • Mark Morgan – Department of Heraldry (Open Mouth)
    • Denzler/Grip/Johansson – Zyklus 1 (SAJ Records)
    • Parker/Guy/Lytton - Concert in Vilnius (No Business)
    • William Parker's In Order to Survive - Live/Shapeshifter (AUM Fidelity)
    • Microtub - Chronic Shift (Bohemian Drips)
    • Flin van Hemmen – Casting Spells & The Coves (Neither/Nor)

     Gregg Miller

    • JaJaWeDa - Pioneer Works vol. 1 (Balance Point Acoustics, 2019) - Jeb Bishop, Jaap Blank, Weasel Walter, Damon Smith. Trombone/percussion/bass/electronics and some demented yelling. Messy and joyful in a DIY way. There is some serious love here. These people are making music because they have to. The rambunctiousness here brings to mind the Art Ensemble of Chicago’s Message to our Folks: “[police whistle] Get in line!”
    • Gordon Grdina / Matthew Shipp / Mark Helias - Skin and Bones (Not Two Records, 2019) - Guitar/Oud, Piano, Bass/Clarinet - From delicate and gentle to frenetic. Fully improvised; mostly pointillistic. They played an amazing set at the Royal Room in Seattle in 2018, and this studio recording captures the work they were doing.
    • The Selva (Clean Feed, 2019) - Ricardo Jacinto (cello), Gonçalo Almeida (double bass) and Nuno Marão (percussion) create a very compelling, bristling vibe. A minimalist template foregrounds dynamics, densities and hypnotic repetition.
    • IPT Trio - Diffractions (For Tune, 2019) - Szymon Wójciński (piano, keyboards), Jakub Bańdur (violin), Jakub Gucik (cello) together provide an engrossing, creative-classical listen. Think Yiddish-lilting movie music of an urbane family gathering turned spooky.
    • Sonar w/David Torn - Transceportation Vol. 1 (RareNoiseRecords, 2019) - On the metal/prog. rock side of improvisation, with its portentous moodiness and head-bobbing odd time signatures. I almost hate it. But some of you head-bangers are going to love it.
    • Rafael Toral / Mars Williams / Tim Daisy - Elevation (Relay Recordings, 2019) - Deliberate sounds and silence, clicks and whistles, random yet melodic, the occasional harsh mush. Incidental music for the free noise fan.
    • Matana Roberts - Coin Coin Chapter Four: Memphis (Constellation Records, 2019) - Theatrical free form jazz/poetry at its finest. Dig it; it’s a great project. Who doesn’t love a series?
    • Evan Parker / Barry Guy / Paul Lytton - Concert in Vilnius (NoBusiness Records, 2019) - Sax, bass, drums. Masters of the craft doing their thing, recorded live. Nothing precious here, everything vital.
    • Geometry, Geometry of Distance (Glacial Erratic, 2019) - Joe Morris (guitar), Tomeka Reid (cello), Taylor Ho Bynum (cornet) and Kyoko Kitamura (voice). Sincere, collective improvisation. Musicality, virtuosity, and fearlessness.
    • Apologist, Reception (Marginal Frequency, 2019) - Live processing: Ambient found sound noise clusters over synth.

     Fotis Nikolakopoulos

    • Derek Bailey/Han Bennink/Evan Parker - Topographie Parisienne, Dunois, April 3d, 1981 (Fou Records) - Masayuki Takayanagi's April Is The Cruellest Month might be the reissue of the year, but this is the archival recording of 2019. First, in chronological order, meeting of those three, after Topography Of The Lungs. What more to say?
    • Valentina Magaletti & Julian Sartorius - Sulla Pelle (Marionette) - A percussion duo very rich in colours and timbres. A whole world of different-not necessarily percussion-sounds
    • Rachel Musson, Pat Thomas, Mark Sanders - Shifa - Live At Cafe Oto (577 records) - The best release from the 577 record's wonderful catalog so far. The interaction of the trio is mesmerizing
    • Christine Abdelnour & Chris Corsano - Quand Fond La Neige, Où Va Le Blanc? (Relative Pitch Records) - The best free jazz duo of 2019. Chris Corsano of course but here Christine Abdelnour is an equal the very least
    • XT - Palina'tufa (Empty Editions) - This is new music for sure.And Seymour Wright is proving to be a visionary saxophonist. One of my two favorites for 2019
    • The Clandestine Quartet - One For The Fossa, Two For The Wolverine (ThirtyThree ThirtyThree Records) - The second of my favorites fro 2019.From free rock to free jazz blowouts, i will not try to categorize it
    • Sakata, Yermenoglou, Di Domenico, Damianidis - Hōryū-Ji (Mr. Nakayasi, El Negocito Records‎, S7 records) - Akira Sakata, the east Asia every day man who turns into a demon with the sax, along three great musicians.Masterpiece...
    • Bloor - Drolleries (Astral Spirits, Monofonus Press) - Sam Weinberg is my favorite sax player at the moment.We should hear more from and for him.This trio took me by surprise and blew me away
    • Minton/Butcher/Robair - Blasphemious Fragments (Rastascan records) - Really now, do you need my comments for those three?
    • Marco Serrato, Francesco Covarino - Bestemmia (Raw Tonk records) - Raw Tonk's catalog keeps pushing sounds beyond our well known limits. This release is a subtle explosion.

     Anthony Poscic

    • Matana Roberts - COIN COIN Chapter Four: Memphis (Constellation Records, 2019)
    • Angel Bat Dawid - The Oracle (International Anthem, 2019)
    • Jessica Pavone String Ensemble - Brick and Mortar (Birdwatch Records, 2019)
    • Anna Webber - Clockwise (Pi Recordings, 2019)
    • Sloth Racket - Dismantle Yourself (Luminous Records, 2019)
    • David Torn, Tim Berne, Ches Smith - Sun of Goldfinger (ECM, 2019)
    • Stephan Crump, Ingrid Laubrock, Cory Smythe - Channels (Intakt, 2019)
    • Nate Wooley - Columbia Icefield (Northern Spy, 2019)
    • Joshua Abrams and Natural Information Society - Mandatory Reality (Eremite Records, 2019)
    • Matt Mitchell - Phalanx Ambassadors (Pi Recordings, 2019)

    Keith Prosk

    2019 was my first full year contributing to the blog, and I certainly feel that I’ve grown from that experience: my writing comes more quickly and (I hope) is more cohesive - or even coherent; my ears hear more and my analysis is (again, I hope) becoming more thorough; and I feel more aware of what is happening now in this music. The year almost seemed like it had a recurring motif of loss. It began with the deaths of AACM founders Joseph Jarman and Alvin Fielder within the first 10 days. Echoes of 2018’s losses rippled through it, with Michael Bisio, Kirk Knuffke, and Fred Lonberg-Holm releasing a tribute to Relative Pitch founder Mike Panico in Requiem for A New York Slice (Iluso) and Triple Point releasing Duets 1992 from Cecil Taylor and Bill Dixon, two recordings full of passion that could have easily made this list. Damon Smith released his first solo recording, Winter Solos (Balance Point Acoustics), in dedication to Robert Ryman, who died this year and was a student of Lennie Tristano before developing into a painter. And Nate Wooley’s Sound American publication series began issuing high-quality physical copies, with its 22nd issue focusing on Lee Hyla and the concept of loss, which unfortunately, perhaps ironically, my new labrador puppy shred to pieces. But as 2019 fades to 2020, there’s a lot to look forward to. Specifically, Anthony Braxton will be celebrating his 75th birthday, hopefully with recordings of his yet unreleased ZIM and Thunder Music systems. I’m hotly anticipating the followup to Macie Stewart and Lia Kohl’s Pocket Full of Bees (Astral Spirits), another recording that could be on this list. I’m looking forward to having more time to better familiarize myself with the crazy amount of quality material that Ken Vandermark released this year. To wince for the recordings that I missed here, but hopefully discover later. To find musicians new to me and new musicians and the words to do them justice. And finally, to revisit these ten awe-inspiring recordings again and again.

    • John McCowen - Mundanas I-V (Edition Wandelweiser)
    • Microtub - Chronic Shift (Bohemian Drips)
    • Éliane Radigue - Occam Ocean 2 (Shiiin)
    • Anthony Braxton - GTM (Syntax) 2017 (New Braxton House)
    • Klaus Lang & Golden Fur - Beissel (Another Timbre)
    • Robin Hayward - Words of Paradise (Edition Telemark)
    • Jessica Pavone String Ensemble - Brick and Mortar (Birdwatcher)
    • Carl Testa - Sway Prototypes Volumes 1 & 2 (self-released)
    • Werner Dafeldecker - Small Worlds (Edition Telemark)
    • Bertrand Denzler/CoÔ - Arc (Potlatch)

    Martin Schray

    • Matana Roberts: Coin Coin Chapter Four: Memphis (CTS, 2019) - I’ve always been fascinated by this project, which is so unique in the jazz world. The fact that Roberts is always able to add new musical aspects to this concept is just fascinating. And I’m always looking forward to what’s coming next.
    • Jaimie Branch: Fly Or Die II: Bird Dogs Of Paradise (International Anthem, 2019) - The expectations were immensely high since the predecessor to this album is one of the best releases of the decade. That Branch’s new album is in no way inferior to Fly or Die I says it all.
    • Christian Lillinger: Open Form for Society (Plaist, 2019) - A band that consists of three pianos, two basses, two vibraphones, a cello and a drummer has certainly been unheard. To me, Christian Lillinger is the most interesting musician on the scene for the second year in a row.
    • Bill Dixon/Cecil Taylor: Duets 1992 (Triple Point Records, 2019) - It took a long time for this album to come and it fulfils all the expectations. You hear a somehow atypical Taylor, the way he reacts to Dixon’s open sound opens up new perspectives on the music of the maestro.
    • James Brandon Lewis: An Unruly Manifesto (Relative Pitch, 2019) - James Brandon Lewis is like a young Archie Shepp, his tenor sound is reminiscent of the fire music of the 1960s. His quintet with Jaimie Branch on trumpet is a match made in heaven.
    • Fire! Orchestra: Arrival (Rune Grammofon, 2019) - Fire! have almost completely rebuilt their orchestra, strings have replaced some of the horns. Their version of Chic’s “At Least I Am Free“ is my track of the year (next to Jaimie Branch's "A Prayer for Amerikkka Part 1 & 2").
    • DKV Trio & Joe McPhee: The Fire Each Time (Not Two, 2019) - A programmatic title. I wonder how these guys (Joe McPhee celebrated his 80th birthday this year) keep being so surprising and exciting after all these years.
    • Damon Locks Black Monument Ensemble: Where Future Unfolds (International Anthem, 2019) - Free Jazz has turned to become more political again. This album, which uses samples from the Civil Rights era, is characteristic of this trend.
    • David S. Ware Trio: The Balance (AUM Fidelity, 2019) - David S. Ware was constantly looking for the divine in his music and he was also looking for a balance in this life, which was the basis to create the jubilant music he played. This album is another perfect example of this.
    • Kuzu: Lift To Drag (Medium Sound, 2019) - At first it was just a cassette release, but it's now available as a download as well. Regardless, what matters is the music: 70 minutes of wonderful high energy free jazz. No end-of-the-year-top-ten is complete without Dave Rempis.

     Sammy Stein

    • Fire! Orchestra -Arrival (Rune Grammofon) - Mats is just packed with energy and Fire! deliver free music like no other ensemble.
    • Silvia Bolognesia - alive shouts (Fonterossa) - a great mix of style, tempo, energy and unfettered joy
    • Ivo Perelman - Ineffable Joy (ESP) - a special and beautiful recording
    • Peter Brotzmann/Heather Leigh - South Moon Under (s/r) - power, challenges and daring defy convention.
    • Ivo Perelmann Strings 3 (Leo) - A great combination of musicians with Perelmann leading but also sharing space and the creations are breathtaking.
    • Michael Janisch - Worlds Collide (Whirlwind) - wonderful, well developed tracks
    • William Parker's In Order To Survive (AUM Fidelity) - just great with references to so many style but with Parker's individuality sewn seamlessly in.
    • Polyorchard - Black Mountain (Out and Gone) - free flowing, free sharing jazz ranging from serendipity to annihilation - just as it should be.
    • Olie Brice - Numerology of Birdsong (Westhill) - different yet strangely engaging - each listen reveals more
    • Peter Brotzmann - ' I Surrender Dear' (Trost) - a beautiful link between Peter of then and the Peter of now. It explains a lot if you listen.

    Eric Stern

    • Whit Dickey/Tao Quartets - Box Of Light/Peace Planet (Aum Fidelity, 2019)
    • William Parker/In Order To Survive - Live Shapeshifter (Aum Fidelity, 2019)
    • James Brandon Lewis - An Unruly Manifesto (Relative Pitch Records, 2019)
    • Mary Halvorson and John Dieterich- a tangle of stars (New Amsterdam Records, 2019)
    • Dave Rempis, Brandon Lopez, Ryan Packard - The Early Bird Gets (Aerophone, 2019)
    • Radical Empathy Trio - Reality and other imaginary places (Astral Spirits, 2019)
    • Nick Dunston - Atlantic Extraction (Out of Your Head, 2019)
    • Jessica Pavone String Ensemble - Brick and Mortar (Birdwatcher Records, 2019)
    • Brotzmann, Schlippenbach, Bennink - Fifty Years After... (Trost Records, 2019)
    • Simon Nabatov Quintet - Last Minute Theory (Clean Feed, 2019)

     Phil Stringer

    • Susan Alcorn / Joe McPhee / Ken Vandermark - Invitation To A Dream (Astral Spirits)
    • Susan Alcorn/Chris Corsano/Bill Nace – Live at Rotunda (Open Mouth 59/Live at #6)
      Thought about
    • The Art Ensemble of Chicago - We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration (Pi Recordings)
      It, what's important
    • Fire! Orchestra - Arrival (Rune Grammofon)
      To me about these
    • Rachel Musson/Pat Thomas/Mark Sanders - Shifa - Live at Cafe Oto (577 Records)Choices is that they all
    • William Parker/In Order to Survive - Live/Shapeshifter (AUM Fidelity)Speak to me in different voices
    • Joe Mcphee/John Butcher - At the Hill of James Magee (Trost)But there is a unity of purpose
    • N.O.Moore/John Edwards/Eddie Prevost - Darkened Yet Shone (Matchless Recordings)And spirit that is always uplifting and that
    • The Quintet - Events 1998-1999 (PNL)Susan Alcorn is a phenomenal pedal steel guitarist.


    Claudio Vedovati said...

    Something important happened this year. Jazz-as-a-history has started walking again.

    Anonymous said...

    Nice work, guys, but I also just have to ask.... And this is a rhetorical question, no need to actually answer. Why are there so many items on this list I've never heard of at all? This seems like an awkward moment to reveal the existence of a recording. Maybe half aren't reviewed (but many of those I did know about)?

    Chris said...

    I always look forward every year to these "top 10" end of year lists.Plenty to trawl through to find some gems that I missed through my daily visits to this awesome site.

    Paul said...

    Regarding the question about the lists - the top ten lists are not restricted to reviewed items, however, the list for the album of the year is.

    Richard said...

    Thanks to the great folks at FJC for another fantastic year of music. Looking at my list, the majority are albums i would never had heard of if not for this website. Here's my list for what it's worth:

    1-Giancarlo Schiaffini et. al.-Luc Ferrari's Exercises d'improvisation
    2-Pak Yan Lau & Lionel Malric-Duo Pour 454 Chordes
    3-thisquietarmy & Tom Malmendier-Steppe
    5-Komeshi Trio-the Master Speaks Thrice
    6-Jose Lencastre Nau Quartet-Live In Moscow
    7-Lightning Bolt-Sonic Citadel
    8-Sarah Hennies-Reservoir 1
    9-Angharad Davies-Dethick
    10-Kodiak Trio III
    11-John Butcher, Eric Normand & Philippe Lauzier-How Does This Happen?
    12-Horseman, Pass By-All Curses Are Mirrors
    13-The Dogmatics and Mark Wastell-At Cafe Oto
    14-Dominic Lash, Pat Thomas & Tony Orrell-Bleyschool
    15-Irreversible Entanglements-Homeless/Global


    This is not an answer on behalf of everybody who contributes here, just my opinion. Lists are totally subjective and, quite often, depend on the moment (hour, day or whatever) you make them. I would think this as quite the opposite of what we present here (free thinking music for free thinking people i do hope) to include only albums that got reviewed from somebody throughout the year.
    As Edie Prevost has written, music has doubtful ethics.And no subjectivities, i would add. Let's keep it this way!

    Anonymous said...

    Heh, well, I was more wondering why you hadn't reviewed so many favorites than that you'd included them. Include your favorites, for sure, but it seems logical to have wanted to review them. :-)

    Anyway, perhaps my real suggestion is to update a list of new releases somewhere on the site, perhaps? Just knowing of the existence of a recording can be valuable, even if no one reviews it. That seems like such a challenge sometimes, all by itself.

    Nick Metzger said...

    We've discussed both of these issues at length via internal comms. The guidance given to us is to generally stick to albums that have been reviewed for our lists, but some always seem to slip through the cracks and some writers adhere to the guidelines more closely than others. The freedom to interpret said guidelines results in variability at the end product which I always think makes the lists very interesting. Another reason has to do with the amount of time a given reviewer has to write, sometimes life gets in the way and we can't write about all the albums we'd like to, or they don't fit within the free jazz/improvised music spectrum. With regards to your second point, we've discussed having a 'recent releases' list, but the challenges of that generally outweigh the favorable aspects, at least on our end. I'm a rabid fan of Squidco's 'Just In' section with regards to new releases, just fyi. Thank you for the feedback, I will say that the editors are always on the lookout for suggestions. Happy Holidays to all.

    Ernst Grgo Nebhuth said...

    A list of some (most) 2019 favourites as of today, listed in no specific order:

    New music:
    - Christian Lillinger – Open Form For Society (Plaist)
    - Ami Yamasaki – Quantum Quantum (Self-released)
    - Axel Dörner – Unversicht (φonon)
    - Jeff Platz, Stephen Haynes, Matt Crane, Damon Smith – Theory Of Colors (Umland)
    - Gabriele Mitelli – The World Behind The Skin (We Insist!)
    - Brötzmann / Schlippenbach / Bennink – Fifty Years After... (Trost)
    - Tyshawn Sorey And Marilyn Crispell – The Adornment Of Time (Pi Recordings)
    - Pipeline 3 – Flatus (We Insist!)
    - Robert Dick, Joëlle Léandre, Miya Masaoka – Solar Wind (Not Two)
    - Evan Parker, Matt Wright, Trance Map+ – Crepuscule In Nickelsdorf (Intakt)
    - Sei Miguel – O Carro De Fogo De Sei Miguel (Clean Feed)
    - Stephan Crump, Ingrid Laubrock, Cory Smythe - Channels (Intakt)
    - Big Bad Brötzmann Quintet - Karacho! (Euphorium)
    - Mopcut - Accelerated Frames Of Reference (Trost)
    - Philipp Gropper’s Philm - Consequences (Why Play Jazz)
    - Fred Van Hove - Fred Van Hove At 80 (Dropa)
    - Russ Lossing Trio - Ways (ezz-thetics)
    - Kang Tae Hwan & Midori Takada - An Eternal Moment (No Business)
    - Ism - Metaphor (Umlaut)

    Archive / reissue:
    - Borah Bergman, Wilber Morris, Sunny Murray – Monks (Somerealmusic)
    - Derek Bailey - Han Bennink - Evan Parker – Topographie Parisienne (Fou Records)
    - Sam Rivers Quintet – Zenith (No Business)
    - Bill Dixon, Cecil Taylor – Duets 1992 (Triple Point)
    - Jimmy Giuffre 3 – Graz Live 1961 (ezz-thetics)
    - Han Bennink / Willem Breuker – New Acoustic Swing Duo (Corbett vs Dempsey)
    - ICP Tentet - Tetterettet (Corbett vs Dempsey)
    - Dudu Pukwana, Han Bennink, Misha Mengelberg - Yi Yole (Corbett vs Dempsey)
    - Keith Tippett – The Unlonely Raindancer (Discus)
    - Peter Kowald - Duos: Europa · America · Japan (Be! Jazz)
    - Don Cherry, Carlos Ward, Dollar Brand - Universal Silence (Lepo Glasbo)
    - Derek Bailey / Tony Coe - Time (Honest Jon's)
    - Various - For Example - Workshop Freie Musik 1969 - 1978 (Be! Jazz)
    - Franz Koglmann / Bill Dixon - Opium For Franz (Black Monk)
    - Richard Davis & L.D. Levy - Cauldron (Corvo)

    Seasonal greetings to all and all the best for the swiftly upcoming new year.

    Pedja said...

    /Giovanni Guidi - Avec le Temps [ECM, 2019]
    /David Torn, Tim Berne, Ches Smith - Sun of Goldfinger [ECM, 2019]
    /Nate Wooley - Columbia Icefield [Northern Spy, 2019]
    /Anna Webber - Clockwise [Pi, 2019]
    /Hilde Marie Holsen and Magnus Bugge - Bilayer [Va Fongool, 2019]
    /Dine Doneff - In-Out [neRED-ECM, 2019]
    /Ståle Storløkken - The Haze of Sleeplessness [Hubro, 2019]
    /Massimo Pupillo and Tony Buck - Time Being [Trost, 2019]
    /Massimo Pupillo and Tony Buck - Unseen [Trost, 2019]
    /Ikarus - Mosaismic [Ronin Rhythm, 2019]
    /The Selva - Canicula Rosa [Clean Feed, 2019]
    /Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society - Mandatory Reality [Eremite, 2019]
    /Arild Andersen, Clive Bell, Mark Wastell - Tales of Hackney [Confront, 2019]
    /Ronny Graupe, Théo Ceccaldi, Christian Lillinger, Valentin Ceccaldi – “qÖÖlp” [BMC, 2019]
    /Miles Perkin Quartet - The Point in Question [Clean Feed, 2019]
    /Sei Miguel - O Carro De Fogo De Sei Miguel [Clean Feed, 2019]
    /Fire! Orchestra - Arrival [Rune Grammofon, 2019]
    /Michele Rabbia, Gianluca Petrella, Eivind Aarset - Lost River [ECM, 2019]
    /Christian Lillinger - Open Form For Society [Plaist, 2019]
    /Gabriel Ferrandini - Volúpias [Clean Feed, 2019]
    /Luis Vicente, Vasco Trilla - A Brighter Side of Darkness [Clean Feed, 2019]
    /Gabriele Mitelli and Rob Mazurek - Star Splitter [Clean Feed, 2019]
    /Der Finger - Le cinque stagioni [Totem Schwan, 2019]
    /The Wøøøh - Music for Weddings and Funerals [Ormo, 2019]
    /Werner Dafeldecker - Small Worlds [Edition Telemark, 2019]
    /Bastarda - Ars Moriendi [Lado, 2019]
    /Steve Lehman - The People I Love [Pi, 2019]
    /Rob Mazurek - Desert Encrypts Vol.1 [Astral Spirits, 2019]
    /Mełech, Majewski, Królikowski, Buhl - Kwartet [Plexus of Infinity, 2019]
    /Dead Neanderthals - Ghosts [Utech, 2019]
    /Portico Quartet - Memory Streams [Gondwana, 2019]
    /Jamie Branch - Fly or Die II>Bird Dogs of Paradise [International Anthem, 2019]
    /Illegal Crowns (Halvorson / Fujiwara / Delbecq / Ho Bynum) - The No-Nosed Puppet [RogueArt, 2019]
    /Dans Les Arbres - Volatil [Sofa, 2019]
    /Trzaska/Mazurkiewicz/Szpura - NORTH MERIDIAN [Plank-Tone Rec. 2019]
    /Eve Risser - Après un Rêve [Clean Feed, 2019]
    /Arthurs/Khroustaliov/Sartorious - Hangkerum [Clean Feed, 2019]
    /Lumen Drones - Umbra [Hubro, 2019]
    /Petter Eldh - Koma Saxo [Wee Jazz, 2019]
    /Não - Arcana [Shhpuma, 2019]

    Anonymous said...

    One more time, awesome work!! Thanks a lot!!

    I wonder why nobody listed "Blacks' Myths II". It's AOTY for me.

    Claudio Vedovati said...

    Dopolarians, Garden Party (Mahakala).
    Not the best, but the one that gave me most joy... and vaness.
    In Memory of Alvin Fielder.

    Peter said...

    I'm surprised that nobody picked Aki Takase's Japanic

    James Allen said...

    So am I Peter.Great record!

    Gennaro said...

    Best new releases ... my top 10 :

    - Entr'Acte "Soigne Ta Droite" (Audiographic)
    - Satoko Fujii / Ramón López ‎"Confluence" (Libra)
    - Made To Break "F4 Fake" (Trost)
    - Eve Risser "Après Un Reve" (Clean Feed)
    - Vandermark/McPhee/Alcorn "Invitation to a Dream" (Astral Spirits)
    - Angles 9 ‎"Beyond Us" (Clean Feed)
    - Marker "New Industries" (Audiographic)
    - Jaimie Branch ‎"Fly Or Die II: Bird Dogs Of Paradise" (IARC)
    - DKV Trio & Joe McPhee ‎"The Fire Each Time" (Not Two)
    - Fire! Orchestra ‎"Arrival" (Rune Grammofon)

    Best archival releases ... my top 3 :

    - Horace Tapscott w/ Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra "Why Don't You Listen? Live at LACMA 1998" (Dark Tree)
    - Jimmy Giuffre 3 ‎"Graz Live 1961" (Ezz-Thetics)
    - Bill Dixon / Cecil Taylor "Duets 1992" (Triple Point)


    giulio stucchi said...

    Thanks for another great year of reviews and new sounds discoveries!

    Opening up the blog page everyday and start reading it is such a good habit and I would not get rid off it any time soon! :-)

    Looking at the 15 albums that made it to the final list is nice to notice these have been published on 15 different labels!

    Keep up with the good job FJB!!


    PS: a couple of tips if you missed these out :-)

    Christopher Dell : Das Arbeitende Konzert/ The Working Concert Revision VI-VII

    Heroes Are Gang Leaders: The Amiri Baraka Sessions

    Post a Comment

    Please note that comments on posts do not appear immediately - unfortunately we must filter for spam and other idiocy.