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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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