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Peter Bacon’s Festive 50


Birmingham Post jazz critic and Jazzbreakfast blogger Peter Bacon may be the personification of the phrase “sympathetic ear.” He does a lot of jazz CD reviewing, and does it very well. His list reflects “the music I have enjoyed the most and feel has enriched my life the most – rather than any attempt at an objective appraisal of the ‘best of 2010’ .”

Drum Roll (photo above from badpuns.com) He has just revealed his top ten, with a short review of each.


10 Phronesis -Alive (Edition): “The Danish double bassist Jasper Hoiby….sounds even bigger, even more pliant. Ivo Neame…brings a mixture of strong harmony and a real searching spirit to his playing. And then there is brilliant drumming of Mark Guiliana. One of the best live sounds I’ve heard in ages. “.

9 Brad Mehldau – Highway Rider (Nonesuch): “A lovely rise and fall, swell and contraction. A wide screen movie for the imagination.”

8 Vijay Iyer- Solo (ACT): “Another challenging, absorbing and rewarding Vijay Iyer recording takes its very secure place in my permanent collection – his is turning into a pretty substantial body of work and one which I know will bring me fresh insights and continuing pleasures for years to come.”.

7 Charles Lloyd Quartet – Mirror (ECM): “A masterclass in the art of saying so much without showing off, without shouting, with just sharing the love… “

6 Christine Tobin & Liam Noble – Tapestry Unravelled (Trail Belle Records): ” Both musicians have come to that point in their art, it seems, where they have realised the beauty of simplicity and straightforwardness. “.

5 Django Bates – Beloved Bird (Lost Marble): “Bates and his Danish friends, Petter Eldh on double bass and Peter Bruun on drums, have made not only a spectacularly fine piano trio record but also the most interesting, articulate and exciting Bird album since… well, since Bird. “

4 Henry Threadgill – Zooid This Brings Us To Volume II (Pi Recordings): “The great iconoclast still sounds like no one else, and does things with his music that no one else can do.”

3 Keith Jarrett/Charlie Haden – Jasmine (ECM): “I first listened to this disc at four o’ clock one morning. … I found myself revelling in the joy of being awake. Which is, I suppose, what Keith Jarrett’s and Charlie Haden’s music is all about.”

2 Paul Motian/Chris Potter/Jason Moran – Lost In A Dream (ECM): ” The finest Motian album, the finest Potter album and the finest Moran album I think I have ever heard.”.

1 Loose Tubes – Dancing On Frith Street (Lost Marble): “If you haven’t already done so, buy this, I urge you, buy multiple copies and send them to all those you love… And buy them from Django Bates’s website. That way, the band members get the most benefit.”

And here are 50-11

50 Ivo Neame- Caught In The Light Of Day (Edition Records)
49 James Morton’s Porkchop- Don’t You Worry ‘Bout That (Fresh Ground Records)
48 Fringe Magnetic- Empty Spaces (Loop Records)
47 The Sam Crowe Group- Synaesthesia (F-IRE)
46 Francois Couturier- Un Jour Si Blanc (ECM)
45 The Necks- Silverwater (ReR)
44 Orrin Evans- Faith In Action (Posi-Tone Records)
43 Stefano Battaglia/Michele Rabbia- Pastorale (ECM)
42 Jose James & Jef Neve -For All We Know (Impulse!)
41 Tim Whitehead- Colour Beginnings (Home Made)
40 Dave Stapleton Quintet-Between The Lines (Edition Records)
39 Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble- The Tide Has Changed (World Village)
38 Cassandra Wilson- Silver Pony (Blue Note)
37 Christian Scott- Yesterday You Said Tomorrow (Concord Jazz)
36 Metropole Orkest, featuring John Scofield, conducted by Vince Mendoza- 54 (Emarcy)
35 Curios- The Other Place (Edition Records)
34 Ana Moura- Leva-me Aos Fados (World Village)
33 Ralph Alessi-Cognitive Dissonance (CamJazz)
32 Vinicius Cantuaria- Samba Carioca (Naive)
31 Lionel Loueke- Mwaliko (Blue Note)
30 Lee Konitz New Quartet- Live At The Village Vanguard (Enja)
29 Rudresh Mahanthappa & Steve Lehman†Dual Identity (cleanfeed)
28 Tom Harrell- Roman Nights (High Note)
27 Ketil Bjornstad/Jon Christensen/Tore Brunborg -Remembrance (ECM)
26 Mats Eilertsen- Radio Yonder (Hubro)
25 John McLaughlin and The 4th Dimension- To The One (Abstract Logix)
24 Mayte Martin- Al Cantar A Manuel (World Village)
23 Kit Downes- Live At The Wardrobe, 2010 – Solo Piano (Own label)
22 Food- Quiet Inlet (ECM)
21 Jason Moran- Ten (Blue Note)
20 Esperanza Spalding- Chamber Music Society (Heads Up)
19 Abdullah Ibrahim- Sotho Blue (Intuition)
18 Absolute Ensemble, featuring Joe Zawinul- Absolute Zawinul (Intuition)
17 Wadada Leo Smith- Spiritual Dimensions (Cuneiform Rune)
16 Nik Bartsch’s Ronin- Llyria (ECM)
15 Polar Bear- Peepers (LEAF)
14 Soweto Kinch- The New Emancipation (Soweto Kinch Recordings)
13 Bill Frisell- Beautiful Dreamers (Savoy Jazz)
12 Dave Holland Octet- Pathways (Dare2 Records)
11 Norma Winstone- Stories Yet To Tell (ECM)

THE FULL STORY IS AT http://thejazzbreakfast.wordpress.com/festive-fifty/

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