JazzTimes’ Top 50 CDs of 2008: Update

January 5, 2009

In its February issue, now reaching the hands of subscribers, JazzTimes lists its Top 50 CDs of 2008, as compiled from a list of ballots from its contributors. 

As you may know from our December 19th post on the subject, based on the results published on JazzTimes.com a few weeks ago, the Mary Halvorson Trio’s Dragon’s Head (Firehouse 12 Records) made the list. The print version confirms this and ranks the disc at number 43.

In his related blurb, Managing Editor Evan Haga writes, “As close as you can get to ‘rising star’ in the avant-garde, Halvorson, a Braxton disciple, is that rarest of out players: A guitarist whose startling effect relies not on sonics but on jarringly angular composition and improvisation.”

What we didn’t know until now, as it was not included in the results posted online for whatever reason, is that another client release, Mario Pavone’s Trio Arc (Playscape Recordings), also squeezed on to the (last but not) list at number 50.

In a reprinted excerpt from the magazine’s original review, Steve Greenlee writes, “A feeling of tethered freedom pervades Pavone’s excellent new record, which reunites him with old comrade Paul Bley on their first recording together in 35 years…What a reunion, and [Matt] Wilson fits right in. His symbiosis with Pavone is remarkable.”

So, a belated congratulations to Mario, who, btw, you can catch live celebrating his other 2008 release, Ancestors (Playscape Recordings), at Iridium on Wednesday night. 

And, in a final note on this best-of issue, Nate Chinen included the June 13th performance by Kidd Jordan/Fred Anderson/William Parker/Hamid Drake at Vision Festival XIII on his list of 10 memorable performances from 2008 in his monthly column, The Gig.

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AAJ-NY’s Best Of 2008

December 30, 2008

We’re pleased to report that several of our clients are honored in AllAboutJazz-New York‘s Best of 2008 feature in the January 2009 issue. Please find the details below.

The complete issue, also featuring a cover story on William Parker, is available free in venues and jazz-related sites all over New York and downloadable as a PDF by clicking here.

Congratulations to all the musicians, labels and organizations named among the year’s best.

Record Labels of the Year:
AUM Fidelity

Performances of the Year:
Billy Bang/Kidd Jordan/William Parker/Hamid Drake @ Vision Festival XIII
William Parker’s Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield @ Vision Festival XIII

Albums of the Year:
Mario Pavone, Trio Arc (Playscape Recordings)

Vocal Releases of the Year:
Yoon Sun Choi/Jacob Sacks, Imagination: The Music of Joe Raposo (Yeah Yeah Records) 

Tribute Recordings of the Year:
Yoon Sun Choi/Jacob Sacks, Imagination: The Music of Joe Raposo (Yeah Yeah Records) 

Debut Albums of the Year:
Mary Halvorson Trio, Dragon’s Head (Firehouse 12 Records) 

Honorable Mention:
Bill Dixon, 17 Musicians In Search Of A Sound: Darfur (Arts for Art/AUM Fidelity) 
Garrison Fewell/Eric Hofbauer, The Lady of Khartoum (Creative Nation Music)
Nicole Mitchell, Xenogenesis Suite: A Tribute To Octavia Butler (Firehouse 12 Records)
William Parker, Double Sunrise Over Neptune (Arts for Art/AUM Fidelity)
William Parker Quartet, Petit Oiseau (AUM Fidelity)
George Schuller’s Circle Wide, Like Before, Somewhat After (Playscape Recordings)


Vision Festival XIII Reviewed in the December Issue of Jazz Improv NY

December 11, 2008

This just in from our better-late-than-never bureau, writer Ken Weiss’ extensive review of Vision Festival XIII, held in New York this past June, graces the pages of the December issue of Jazz Improv NY.  

The review, which spans four pages, including an entire page of original photos, covers a wide range of performances from three of the six nights of the festival, as well as the Saturday afternoon Emerging Artist Showcase.

It’s a great way to get a feel for the diversity of this seminal week-long event, which Weiss calls “New York City’s premier annual avant-garde mystical happening.”  He adds, “this festival continues to serve as the foundation that stabilizes the city’s creative jazz music scene, offering a meeting place for fans (many of whom come from Europe each year) and fellow musicians to experience some of the current integral soundshapers and also for industry types to congregate and make new connections with artists.”

If you don’t live in New York, where the magazine is distributed free at venues and other jazz-related sites, you can download this month’s issue, with Jimmy Heath on the cover, here (PDF).  The review begins on page 10.