Sunday, December 13, 2009

CD's You Should Have Bought This Year But Probably Didn't

Quote of the Day:
Listen or thy tongue will
keep thee deaf.

~Indian Proverb

Current Local Weather:
Freeeeeezing Cold Sunny Days
with Relaxation Showers and No
Deadline to Speak Of

Currently on my iPod:
Keep it Loose, Keep it Tight
Amos Lee

(Jeremy Facknitz)

Dear friends and family and my family of friends,

Yes, it's the end of the year. Thank goodness. It's been a hell of a life-changing, mood altering season of growing and learning and living to the fullest I can possibly live. I wish you were here. Right here. Next to me. The couch is now sinking in from where I have sat too many nights, at this time of the night, writing my thoughts, both good and bad, down for all to read either now or much, much (posthumously) later. Details on where to find my diary to come in a blog later. MUCH later.

Yet the one thing good about closing out a year this great is the recap of it. This is an act that nourishes my already healthy ego and also helps me keep things in perspective. Any time I get impatient with my own progress or with a goal that seems all too distant, I can go back and read the recapping of a year that passed by at break-neck speed and changed my life. But the recap of this year will happen during my new years blog. This blog...which isn't too late or early enough is a recap of all the great music that's been put out this year. Many of these artists are strangers to the mainstream for now. MANY MANY of them have busted their wallets and their ass to promote themselves and have succeeded in small ways.

As usual, I want to help out. Help them in anyway I can. I believe that music is the best gift you can give anyone. Whether it be escorting a friend to a phenomenal performance or just gifting a few iTunes to a friend who is in need of a boost, a lift
of the mood and funk they're in at that moment. Music stays with us wherever and whenever we need it. Think back to some of your fondest memories growing up...I remember Culture Club tunes and Aha's "Take On Me" playing in the distant background. I remember where I was the first time I heard Maria Schnieder's music. That moment changed my life. Music is by far, one of the most potent and powerful aphrodisiacs and mood destabalizers/stabalizers ever created by humans. Hell, even the birds know the power of a great tune! It can land them a mate and or ward off an enemy.

So, this Christmas or even in the next year and coming years, take this into account. Make it your resolution, if you're the type to make such claims, to ignore the Top 40 list and go with the indie folks, the jazz underground, the singer/songwriters who write more poetry than most poets I know and those that are probably eating Ramen Noodles right now instead of steak just to make it between gigs.

Here's a LONG list (My 50 picks) of folks to start with. Some of these folks I know personally. Some of them I have listened to their stories over and over in an attempt to get it down on paper. Some I have never ever met and maybe never will, but I feel I know them very well through their words and lovely melodies. Either way, ALL of these folks are worth getting to know and supporting. Show some love
... got it? Now, without further ado, here's the list:

**each artist and name of the album is also a link...please buy the music from the artist on their site. This ensures that the artist receives all the proceeds from the sale. **

  1. Singer/Songwriter: Jeremy Facknitz, Music from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
  2. Jazz Drummer/Funny Guy: Matt Wilson , That's Gonna Leave A Mark
  3. Composer/bassist: Ben Allison, Think Free
  4. Composer/Bassist: Chris Tarry, Live at the Birds Eye, Switzerland
  5. Jazz Saxophonist/Composer: Ricky Sweum, Pulling Your Own Strings
  6. Jam Band/Funky Tastemakers: Rudder, Matorning
  7. Jazz pianist/Composer: Vijay Iyer, Histrocity
  8. Jazz pianist/Composer: Matthew Shipp, Harmonic Disorder
  9. Trumpeter/Composer: Dave Douglas, Spirit Moves
  10. Jazz Saxophonist/Composer: Joe Lovano, Folk Art
  11. Singer/Songwriter Group: As Tall As Lions, The Circles EP
  12. Jazz Bassist: Christian McBride, Kind of Brown
  13. Jazz Trumpeter: Roy Hargrove, Emergence
  14. Jazz Pianist/Composer: Robert Glasper, Double Booked
  15. Singer/Songwriter/Folk: The Bird and the Bee, One Too Many Hearts
  16. Singer/Songwriter: Regina Spektor, Far
  17. Jazz Composer/Saxophonist: Chris Greene, Merge
  18. Contemporary Drummer: Paul Wertico, Impressions of A City
  19. Jazz Vocalist: Kurt Elling, Dedicated To You
  20. Jazz Bassist: Stanley Clarke, Jazz in the Garden
  21. Jazz Vocalist/Songwriter/Composer: Allan Harris, Dedicated to You, Allan Harris Sings Nat King Cole Christmas
  22. Jazz Vocalist/Poet/Composer/Mover-Shaker: Rene Marie, Slut Energy Theory
  23. Jazz Saxophonist/Composer: Woody Witt, Seasons Ago
  24. Jazz Trumpeter/Professor/Composer: Alan Hood, Just A Little Taste
  25. Jazz Trumpeter/Composer/Classical Trumpeter: Suresh Singaratnam, Lost in New York
  26. Jazz Saxophonist/Composer: Jake Saslow, Lucky 13
  27. Jazz Vocalist/WonderWoman: Melody Gardot, My One and Only Thrill
  28. Jazz Composer/Leader: Darcy James Argue, Secret Society Presents: Infernal Machines
  29. Jazz Saxophonist/Composer: Seamus Blake, Live in Italy
  30. Jazz Composer/Saxophonist: Jeremy Udden, Torchsongs
  31. Jazz Bassist/Composer: Janek Gwizdala, Live at the 55 Bar
  32. Uh, no category-group/ear candy: Slavic Soul Party, Taketron
  33. Jazz Vocalist/Songwriter: Karrin Allyson, By Request, The Best of Karrin Allyson
  34. Jazz Pianist/Composer/Great conversationalist: Jim Beard, Revolutions
  35. Jazz Bassist/Composer: Joe Martin, Not By Chance
  36. Jazz Guitarist/Wonderfingers: Pete McCann, Extra Mile
  37. Jazz Composer/Guitarist/Visual Artist: Miles Okazaki, Generations
  38. World Music Extraordinaire: Ballake Sissoko, 3MA
  39. Jazz Guitarist/Composer: Jonathan Kreisberg, The South of Everywhere
  40. Jazz Composer/Film Score Genius/Trumpeter: Terence Blanchard, Choices
  41. Jazz Saxophonist/Composer/text buddy: Noah Preminger, Dry Bridge Road
  42. Jazz Trumpeter/Poet/Soulwriter: Nicholas Payton, Into the Blue
  43. Jazz Bassist/Fatherfigure/Educator/Composer: John Clayton, Brother to Brother
  44. Singer/Songwriter Vocalist: Jonah Smith, Lights On
  45. Jazz Guitarist: Bobby Broom, Bobby Broom Plays For Monk
  46. Jazz Composer/Pianist/Leader: Michel Camilo, Caribe (Live DVD/CD)
  47. Jazz Pianist/Composer: Dan Cray, Over Here, Over Heard
  48. Jazz Organist/Composer/Magic Soul Man: Pat Bianchi, East Coast Roots
  49. Jazz Pianist/Composer/Educator/Arranger: Bill Cunliffe, The Blues and the Abstract Truth
  50. Composer/Arranger/Film Scorer/Bad Ass Supporter/Friend/Big Band Guru: Gordon Goodwin and his Big Phat Band, Act Your Age
  • Of course, I've left out everyone else. So, if you're reading this and you're getting upset with me because you weren't included then do something about it! If you want to be added to the list, just email me at with your CD name, web address etc. I'll be happy to add.
I hope, at the very least, you consider this list a great start.

Yours in Music, Mischeif and Mayhem,


OH. And need I even say it? HAVE YOU BOUGHT YOUR COPY of the New Face of Jazz? No? Shame...shame...Reserve it soon before they're all gone.

And if you're interested in reading the Author's Note and an excerpt from the beautiful Vocalist/Bassist, Esperanza Spalding, Go Here:

1 comment:

Yat-Yee said...

Wow, Cicily, it's take me weeks to go through your list to check out these musician. As a previous all-black-all-the-time and almost all-Ramen-all-the-time (with occasional iceberg lettuce and button mushrooms thrown in) musician, I thank you. My training was in Classical but I am learning to "get" jazz more these, thanks to my being married to a jazz lover.