Avant Music News Best of 2011

Peter Hammill of van der Graaf Generator at th...

I don’t take best of lists all that seriously, as you might note if you search this site for my previous lists. However, I think it is useful to point out a bunch of releases that I think are the best of the year. So here we go.

Caveats: This list includes releases up until early December 2011. They are in alphabetical order. And, obviously, I cannot include any of the great many 2011 releases that I have not heard.

Go listen and enjoy.

Best of 2011

Anderson, Ron / PAK – Secret Curve
Bowers, William – Soundtracks #2 (EP)
Bynum, Taylor Ho / Sextet – Apparent Distance
Cline, Nels / Tim Berne / Jim Black – The Veil
Fujii, Satoko / Orchestra NY – Eto
Gate – Deconstructed
Gilmore, Tyler / Ninth and Lincoln – Static Line
Gutbucket – Flock
Inzinzac – Inzinzac
Laubrock, Ingrid / Sleepthief – The Madness of Crowds
Led Bib – Bring Your Own
Malaby, Tony Novella – Arranged by Kris Davis
Melvins – Sugar Daddy Live
Microkingdom – 3 Compositions of No Jazz
Pope, Odean – Universal Sounds
Research Institute – TRI Sessions – Part One
Ruins Alone – Ruins Alone
São Paulo Underground – Tres Cabeças Loucuras
Shipp, Matthew – Art of the Improviser
Side A (Vandermark / Wiik / Taylor) – A New Margin
Slumgum – Quardboard Flavored Fiber
Spanish Donkey – XYX
Starlicker – Double Demon (EP)
Tarana – After the Disquiet
Triptet – Imaginary Perspective
Turn Around Norman – We Turn Around
Zloty Dawai – Torso Apart
Zs – 33 (EP)

Honorable Mentions

Accentor – Moscow, WV
Ada Rave Cuarteto – La Continuidad
Afuche – Highly Publicized Digital Boxing Match
Anla Courtis – The Torrid
Barn Owl – Lost in the Glare
Battles – Gloss Drop
Berne, Tim – Insomnia
Bon, Piero Bittolo / Original Pigneto Stompers – Mucha Acustica
Bynum, Taylor Ho / Joe Morris / Sara Schoenbeck – Next
Centazzo, Andrea / Ballou / Barbiero /Stowe /Succi – Moon in Winter
Chevillon, Bruno / Tim Berne – Old and Unwise
Cleaver, Gerald / Uncle June – Be It As I See It
Coleman, Steve / Five Elements – Mancy of Sound
Comfort Zone – Inverted Pendulum
Costa, Carlo / Minerva – Saturnismo
Dauer, Benjamin – Saturation Event
Davidovsky, Daniel / Ofer Bymel / Ido Bukelman – EFT
Dead Cat Bounce – Chance Episodes
Dixie’s Death Pool – The Man with Flowering Hands
Eisenstadt, Harris – Canada Day II
Elisha, Ehran / Roy Campbell – Watching Cartoons with Eddie
ElSaffar, Amir – Inana
Endangered Blood (Black / Dunn / Noriega / Speed) – Endangered Blood
Fields, Scott / Matthias Schubert – Minaret Minuets
Fire! – Unreleased?
Foisy, André / High Aura’d Untitled / Dusk – Latitudes (MC)
Fore – Fore
Fujii, Satoko / Min-Yoh Ensemble – Watershed
Full Metal Revolutionary Jazz Ensemble – Power Trio 227C
Gauthier, Jeff / Goatette – Open Source
Golia, Vinny / Quartet – Take Your Time
Halley, Rich / Quartet – Requiem for a Pit Viper
Halvorson, Mary / Weasel Walter / Peter Evans – Electric Fruit
Hilmy, Steve / Daniel Barbiero – Live at Bella (EP)
Hum of Gnats – Purge the Weevil from Yer Midst
Hwang, Jason Kao / Edge – Crossroads Unseen
International Contemporary Ensemble – Pintscher: Sonic Eclipse – A Twilight’s Song – She-Cholat Ahavah An
Iyer, Vijay – Tirtha
Johnston / Shelton / Mezzacappa / Nordeson – Cylinder
Jones, Darius / Matthew Shipp – Cosmic Lieder
Kaze – Rafale
Korekyojinn – Tundra
Kuhl, Tim – Doomsayer
Laster, Andy – Riptide
Lettow, Gunnar / Umut Cagler – Tictac
Levin, Daniel / Quartet – Organic Modernism
Ligeti, Lukas – Pattern Time
Little Worlds – Book One (EP)
Lonberg-Holm, Fred /Joan of Arc Lightbox Orchestra – The Joan of Arc Lightbox Orchestra Conducted by Fred Lonberg-Holm
Mamuthones – Mamuthones
Maroney, Denman – Double Zero
Mecha Fixes Clock – Teoria dell’elasticità di Girolamo Papariello
Mezei, Szilárd / Trio – Tisza
Mitchell, Nicole – Awakening
Moraine – Metamorphic Rock
New Risen Throne – Loneliness of Hidden Structures
Noordzy / Freeman Imaginary Quartet – Langwidge
Orchestra In-Stabile DIS/Accordo – Live in Hamburg
Output:NOISE Improv Collective – A Soundtrack to the DSM-IV
Outward Bound – The Path
Paintings for Animals – Whale Hunter (EP)
Pavone, Jessica – Army of Strangers
Perhaps Contraption – Business
Pitom – Blasphemy and Other Serious Crimes
Planeta Imaginario – Optical Delusions
Polack, Coen Oscar – Spectral Churches
Rempis Percussion Quartet – Montreal Parade
Reptet – At the Cabin
Rhinocéros, Les – Les Rhinocéros
Rich, Robert – Medicine Box
Roach, Steve / Brian Parnham – The Desert Inbetween
Roberts, Matana – Live in London
Rova – Planetary
Rupp, Olaf / Joe Williamson / Tony Buck – Weird Weapons 2
Saeedi, Salim Ghazi – Human Encounter
Sanchez, Angelica – A Little House
Scott, Ryan / Espirit Orchestra – Maki Ishii Live
Segger, Mark / Sextet – The Beginning
Settles, Brian and Central Union – Secret Handshake
Shipp, Matthew Duo with Joe Morris – Broken Partials
Smiley, Matt Quartet – Art
Smith, Wadada Leo / Mbira – Dark Lady of the Sonnets
Smith, Wadada Leo / Organic – Heart’s Reflections
Smythe, Cory – Pluripotent
Trayer – Afterlife an Abandoned Theme Park
Van der Graaf Generator – A Grounding in Numbers
Vandermark, Ken / Resonance Ensemble – Kafka in Flight
Various Artists – Possible Worlds
Vortex – Rockdrill
Walter, Weasel – Ominous Telepathic Mayhem
White Hills – H-p1
Wooley, Nate / Chris Corsano / C. Spencer Yeh – The Seven Storey Mountain II
Wooley, Nate / Scott R. Looney / D. Smith / W. Walter – Scowl
Xerath – II
Zorn, John / Marc Ribot / Trevor Dunn – Enigmata
Zs – New Slaves Part II: Essence Implosion!

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Umbrella Music Through December 29

Jason Adasiewicz on vibraphone.

From Chicago’s Umbrella Music:

Dec 14
Jason Stein Quartet
The Hideout

Dec 15

Dec 18
Darren Johnston Quintet
Hungry Brain

Dec 21
Jason Adasiewicz’s Sun Rooms
The Hideout

Dec 28
DKV Trio
The Hideout

Dec 29

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John Zorn at the Miller Theater Reviewed

John Zorn

From NYTimes.com:

For all that the New York composer John Zorn retains his substantial cachet as a maverick, an outlier and a nose-thumbing rebel — and for all that he might prefer to maintain that impression — a sold-out concert at the Miller Theater of Columbia University on Friday night indicated his actual status. Through durable alliances with performers and concert presenters — as well as dogged persistence and a stream of challenging, edifying works — Mr. Zorn, at 58, is a towering pillar of a new-music universe he has worked tirelessly to foster and enrich

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All About Jazz Reviews

Der Saxophonist Joe McPhee beim Konzert mit de...

From All About Jazz:

Mark Alban & Islak Kopek – Istanbul Improv Sessions May 4th (Evil Rabbit Records)
The Jeff Gauthier Goatette – Open Source (Cryptogramophone)
Joe McPhee / Michael Zerang Creole Gardens
The Claudia Quintet – What Is the Beautiful? (Cuneiform Records)
Benjamin Duboc – Primare Cantus (Ayler Records)
David S. Ware – Organica (Solo Saxophones, Volume 2) (AUM Fidelity)
Billy Bang – Billy Bang’s Survival Ensemble: Black Man’s Blues / New York Collage (No Business Records)
Mats/Morgan Band – Live (Cuneiform Records)
Ray Anderson / Han Bennink / Christy Doran – ABD (Hatology)
Darius Jones – Big Gurl (Smell My Dream) (AUM Fidelity)

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Ratchet Series at the Skylark

From Chicago’s Ratchet Series:

dec 12 – sherpa
jaimie branch – trumpet
fred lonberg-holm – cello
toby summerfield – guitar

dec 19 – darren johnston quartet
darren johnston – trumpet
jeff parker – guitar
josh abrams – bass
tim daisy – drums

dec 26 – steve marquette quintet
keefe jackson – tenor saxophone
jeb bishop – trombone
steve marquette – guitar
anton hatwich – bass

lucas gillan -drums