Thursday, December 30, 2010

looking back, I see you smile...

As 2010 comes to a close, I've been thinking back to the year in music (and blogging) for me. It's been the quietest in years- while the album I recorded in 2009 has gone from rough cuts to mastered entity, it'll be a few months before it sees the light of day, and what focus I've had on music has been on teaching. Clearly, not blogging, but we'll see what 2011 brings. In the meantime, favorites from 2010. (I said this a couple of years ago, I don't feel comfortable about claiming any bests- I just don't hear enough these days.

Favorite Album- "Ten", Jason Moran Trio. It's the critic's darling for a reason. Compelling from beginning to end. If you haven't heard it, go now.

Honorable Mention: "Never Stop", the Bad Plus. Their best yet- though I feel like almost every record has improved upon the last.

Favorite Gig to hear, local: The Bad Plus at Berklee. Again, the best I've heard them live. Any kitch that the band may have relied on in the past is giving way to a more seamless communication. And some of my favorite free playing in a long time.

Favorite Gig to Hear, elsewhere: Darcy James Argue's Secret Society at the Newport Jazz Festival. Readers know how much I love Darcy and his music, but something about playing Newport took the band to another level, a combination of excitement and determination. (And ego, I'm sure, a lot of folks in the band had husbands/wives/kids in tow on an amazing August day, something you don't always get to do.)

Favorite Blog Post- Ethan Iverson on Herbie and Wayne. (I think this one is from this year- it's the third one down. So well thought out, so well said.

Happy New Year everyone!