2008 Village Voice Jazz Poll Winners

Sonny Rollins
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The annual Village Voice poll is a great way to catch up on the year’s recommended listening. The top 25 are listen below.

1. Sonny Rollins Road Shows, Vol. 1 (Doxy/Emarcy) 208.5 points (29 ballots)

2. Rudresh Mahanthappa Kinsmen (Pi) 118.5 (16)

3. Charles Lloyd Rabo de Nube (ECM) 115 (18)

4. Vijay Iyer Tragicomic (Sunnyside) 68 (11)

5. Wadada Leo Smith Tabligh (Cuneiform) 67 (13)

6. Cassandra Wilson Loverly (Blue Note) 64.5 (12)

7. Joe Lovano Symphonica (Blue Note) 63 (10)

8. Donny McCaslin Recommended Tools (Greenleaf) 59.5 (9)

9. Bill Frisell History, Mystery (Nonesuch) 57.5 (9)

10. Guillermo Klein Filtros (Sunnyside) 56 (10)

11. Martial Solal Longitude (Cam Jazz) 54 (10)

12. Lionel Loueke Karibu (Blue Note) 54 (9)

13. James Moody & Hank Jones Our Delight (IPO) 54 (8)

14. David Murray & Mal Waldron Silence (Justin Time) 52.5 (7)

15. Bennie Maupin Early Reflections (Cryptogramophone) 50 (7)

16. William Parker Petit Oiseau (AUM Fidelity) 49 (10)

17. Dave Holland Pass It On (Dare2/Emarcy) 49 (9)

18. James Carter Present Tense (Emarcy) 48 (9)

19. McCoy Tyner Guitars (Half Note/McCoy Tyner Music) 46.5 (10)

20. Brian Blade Season of Changes (Verve) 45 (8)

21. Mary Halvorson Dragon’s Head< (Firehouse 12) 44 (8)

22. Dafnis Prieto Taking the Soul for a Walk (Dafnison) 44 (7)

23. Anat Cohen Notes From the Village (Anzic) 43 (7)

24. Mario Pavone Trio Arc (Playscape) 37 (5)

25. Carla Bley Appearing Nightly (WATT/ECM) 36.5 (7)

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Indie labels deliver the goods: 2008 in Review

The Denver Post provides yet another best of list.

I didn’t have to strain to come up with 10 winning jazz discs from 2008. Actually, I had to edit down from at least 25 — that must mean it was a terrific year for the music, chiefly due to artists making uncompromising, heartfelt sounds on independent labels.

A lot of adventurous stuff rose to the top this time, and while it wasn’t my intent to showcase the more avant- garde material, that’s just what happened.

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AMN Best of 2008

Well, here it is, another best of list that you probably should not take too seriously. The top ten of 2008 along with a pile of runners up.

Top Ten:

Stephen Haynes / Taylor Ho Bynum – Double Trio
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey – Lil Tae Rides Again
William Parker – Double Sunrise Over Neptune
Anthony Braxton – Quartet (Moscow) 2008
Daniel Carter – Chinatown
Mary Halvorson – Dragon’s Head
William Parker Quartet – Petit Oiseau
Vladimir Bozar n Ze Sheraf Orkestar – Universal Sprache
John Zorn / Lou Reed / Laurie Anderson – The Stone: Issue Three
Steve Swell / Rivers of Sound Ensemble – News from the Mystic Auricle

The Rest:

Bang on a Can – Brian Eno: Music for Airports Live
Beat Circus – Dreamland
James Blackshaw – Litany of Echoes
Box – Studio 1
Rob Brown – Crown Trunk Root Funk
Copperhead Trio – Labyrinths
Cynic – Traced in Air
Bill Dixon – Bill Dixon with Exploding Star Orchestra
Harris Eisenstadt – Guewel
The Empty Cage Quartet – Stratostrophic
Fulminate Trio – Fulminate Trio
Jeff Gauthier / Goatette – House of Return
Frode Gjerstad – A Sound Sight
Dominique Grimaud – Les Quatre Directions
I Heart Lung – Interoceans
Peggy Lee Band – New Code
Daniel Levin – Fuhuffah
Byron Metcalf / Mark Seelig / Steve Roach – Nada Terma
Szilárd Mezei – As You
David Parsons – Surya
Rob Price – I Really Do Not See the Signal
Kurt Rosenwinkel – The Remedy – Live at the Village Vanguard
Stray Ghost – Losthilde
The Thing – Now and Forever
Stevan Kovacs Tickmayer – Cold Peace Counterpoints
Yitzhak Yedid – Oud, Bass, Piano Trio

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Fizzle Tonight in Birmingham UK

Lol Coxhill
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From the Birmingham Post:

The free jazz fans that run Fizzle have come up with one of their best line-ups yet tomorrow evening with legendary soprano saxophonist Lol Coxhill, alto man Frode Gerstad, bassist Nick Stephens and one of the most creative drummers around, Paal Nilssen-Love.

Nilssen-Love can make amazing rhythms from a suitcase full of junk and he once showed me how if a cymbal gets damaged in the fray, he just cuts it into a smaller one. He has some very small cymbals.

These players are at The Lamp Tavern, Barford Street, Birmingham. It starts at 9pm and there is more information on

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Interviews Releases Reviews

New Point of Departure

The latest PoD is out.

Issue 20 – December 2008

Page One: a column by Bill Shoemaker
What’s New?: The PoD Roundtable
A Fickle Sonance: a column by Art Lange
The Book Cooks: The Hearing Eye
Far Cry: a column by Brian Morton
Moment’s Notice: Recent CDs Briefly Reviewed
Travellin’ Light: Ingebrigt Håker Flaten
Free Jazz: The Point of Departure Contest

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AMN Picks General

AMN Picks of the Week

William Parker
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Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Lots of listening this week, especially to the Black Saint / Soul Note material just released in digital format.

William Parker – In Order To Survive (1995, free jazz)
Paul Motian – The Story of Maryam (1984, free jazz)
Jemeel Moondoc – Nostalgia in Times Square (1986, free jazz)
Larry Ochs Sax and Drumming Core – The Neon Truth (2002, free jazz)
Rova – Favorite Street – Rova plays Lacy (1984, free jazz)
Rova – From the Bureau of Both (1993, free jazz)
Rova – The Works Volume 2 (1996, free jazz)
Rova – Beat Kennel (1987, free jazz)
Rova – The Works Volume 3 (1999, free jazz)
William Parker – Mass for the Healing World (2003, free jazz)
Leroy Jenkins – Mixed Quintet (1983, free jazz)
Drew Gress – Heyday (1998, free jazz)
Air – Live Air (1980, free jazz)
Air – Air Mail (1981, free jazz)
Roscoe Mitchell – The Flow of Things (1987, free jazz)
Ellery Eskelin – The Sun Died (1996, free jazz)
Art Moulu – Art Moulu (1990, avant-rock)
Jason Dumars / Joseph Janiga / Pere Soto – A Tragedy in 2 Acts (2007, avant-rock / improv)
Todd Sickafoose – Tiny Resistors (2008, modern avant improv)
Rob Price – I Really Do Not See the Signal (2008, modern avant improv)

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AMN Picks General

AMN Picks of the Week

Sun Ra at New England Conservatory, February 2...
Image via Wikipedia

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Francois Carrier – Great Love (2008, free jazz)
Francois Carrier – Far North (2008, free jazz)
Vladimir Bozar n Ze Sheraf Orkestar – Universal Sprache (2008, avant rock)
John Zorn – Filmworks XXI: Belle de Nature / The New Rijksmuseum (2008, soundtrack)
Megaphone Man – Live From Berlin (2008, jazz)
The Flatlands Collective – Gnomade (2006, free jazz)
Steve Roach – Landmass (2008, electronic / ambient)
Sun Ra – Strange Strings (1967, avant jazz)

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Releases Reviews

DMG Newsletter October 31st, 2008

Tim Berne
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From DMG:

Mary Havlorson Trio! Taylor Ho Bynum 6tet! Brotzmann/Lonberg-Holm! Joe Morris Bass Qt! Carl Testa! Christian Wolff! Barnacled! Quinsin Naschoff! John Hadfield! Les Stance A Sophie DVD!

LittleBrother restocks of Tim Berne, Nels Cline! Charlie Parker 4CD unreleased! Rashu Aten! Cyrille Verdeaux’s Clearlight albums remastered! Rare Blues on Yazoo!

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Eclectic Improvisers Release First Disc and Play Firehouse 12


The New Haven Improvisers Collective, a catalytic force in New Haven’s burgeoning music scene, is celebrating the release of its debut disc, “Interference” (NHIC Records), a live recording of its 2007 performance at New Haven’s Firehouse 12.

The collective champions what it calls “avant progressive chamber punk jazz.”

The seven players, led by Bob Gorry, a guitarist/composer with a rock, jazz and experimental music background, return to Firehouse 12 to perform Saturday at 8:30 and 10 p.m., presenting highlights from the new disc and premieres of new works.

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