Thursday, November 29, 2018

My "Best of Jazz, 2018" Picks


My "Best of Jazz, 2018" Picks

-or-
Smoke-rings, Shadows, Other Places and Fire Music
Below is my first contribution to the end-of-year polls. Previously, I tended to just avoid this kind of thing but it occurred to me that I stand (loudly) by my convictions in every other setting, so how can I avoid this crush when it comes to the primary object of my journalism? Various versions of the below list were sent in to writers' poll of "the NYC Jazz Record" as well as those of Francis Davis of NPR and the Jazz Journalists Association. This set of accolades comprises what is a rather alternative view of so-called jazz today. From the remaining dregs of downtown to points north and south, here is a "Best of" which celebrates the world famed and the little known, but in each case, artists, recordings and venues I hold in the highest regard. Recognizing that some of these picks may appear on no other critic's choices this year, I needed to make a serious go of it. 

Here's to social change, new visions and a hearty helping of Fire Music for the holidays!

Peace for 2019....
john pietaro


Albums:

New Releases:
John Zorn, The Urmuz Epigrams (Tzadik)
Harriet Tubman, Araminta (Sunnyside)
Marty Ehrlich, Trio Exaltation (Clean Feed)
Ra Kalam Bob Moses and Bukky Leo, Spaceships Over Africa (Ra Kalam Records)
Benjamin Boone/Philip Levine, The Poetry of Jazz (Origin)
Yusef Komunyakaa/David Cieri/Mike Brown, White Dust (Ropeadopa)
Christine Correa and Ran Blake, Streaming (Red Piano)
Elliot Levin/Gabriel Lauber Duo, Yu (Dimensional Recordings)

Historic:
 Coltrane, Both Directions at Once (Impulse)
Walt Dickerson/Richard Davis - Divine Gemini (SteepleChase)

Latin
Arturo O’Farrill, Fandango at the Wall (Resilience)

Vocals
Christine Correa and Ran Blake, Streaming (Red Piano)

Debuts: 
Benjamin Boone/Philip Levine, The Poetry of Jazz (Origin)


Concert:
I Never Left and Now I’m Back: A Tribute to Roswell Rudd (Nov 17, 2018, Murmrr, Brooklyn)


Musicians:

Hall of Fame: 
Karl Berger


piano:
Ran Blake
Chris Forbes
Matt Shipp

organ:
Matthew Whitaker

bass:
Ken Filiano
Adam Lane

drums:
Milford Graves
Nasheet Waits
Kenny Wolleson

vibes:
Brian Carrot
Bill Ware
Patricia Brennan

percussion:
Warren Smith
Cyro Baptista
Ches Smith

guitar:
Marc Ribot
Brandon Ross
Mary Halvorson
On' Kai Davis

flute:
Nicole Mitchell
Steve Gorn

soprano saxophone:
Lee Odom

alto:
Sonny Fortune
Gary Bartz
Avram Fefer

tenor:
Joe Lovano
Ras Moshe
James Brandon Lewis

bari:
Dave Sewelson

trumpet:
Wadada Leo Smith
Tom Harrell

trombone:
Steve Swell

tuba:
Bob Stewart

violin:
Gwen Laster

vocals:
Cassandra Wilson
Jay Clayton
Sheila Jordan

poetry:
Steve Dalachinsky
Amina Baraka
Raymond Nat Turner
Larry Roland


Venues:
Minton’s Playhouse (Harlem)
Village Vanguard (West Village)
Joe’s Pub (SoHo/East Village)
ShapeShifter Lab (Park Slope/Gowanus Bklyn)
Roulette (Boerum Hill Bklyn)
17 Frost (Williamsburg Bklyn)
Scholes Street Studio (Williamsburg Bklyn)
The Colony (Woodstock NY)


Magazines:
NYC Jazz Record
the Wire




Interview: Shelley Hirsch

NYC Jazz Record , December 2018 – Artist Interview: SHELLEY HIRSCH photo: the Brooklyn Rail By John Pietaro Shelley Hirsch...