Best Music (Album)
Gareth Jenkins of African Dance Party & Music From The True Vine
M'Bilia Bel: Bel Canto, 1982-87 (Africa – Congo reissue)
Michael Brecker: Pilgrimage (jazz)
Manu Chao: Radiolina (France/Spain rock)
Vince Gill: These Days (country)
Patty Griffin: Children Running Through (Americana)
Levon Helm: Dirt Farmer (Americana)
Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba: Segu Blue (Africa – Mali)
Madilu System: La Bonne Humeur (Africa – Congo)
Charles Mingus Sextet w/ Eric Dolphy: Cornell 1964 (jazz reissue)
Wallace Roney: Jazz (jazz)
Tinariwen: Aman Iman (Africa – Mali)
Wild Magnolias: The Wild Magnolias / They Call Us Wild (NOLA – reissue)
Jack (Yankl) Falk of the Yiddish Hour
Ben Baruch The Complete Recordings: 1949-1950 (Sub Rosa)
Budowitz Live (Golden Horn)
Di Fidl Kapelye Trumpets for Di Fidl Kapelye (Music + Words)
German Goldenshteyn A Living Tradition (Living Traditions)
Golem Fresh Off Boat (JDub)
Irving Fields Trio My Yiddishe Mama's Favorites (Tzadik)
Joel Rubin Ensemble Midnight Prayer (Traditional Crossroads)
Konsonans Retro A Podolian Affair (Oriente)
Michael Winograd Bessarabian Hop
Pharoah's Daughter Haran
Ismail Fencioglu Fenci's Blues
SoCalled GhettoBlaster (Label Bleu)
Chintzy Schmaltz of Lounge World
Flunk – Personal Radio (1st Man On Mars rmx)
Dalminjo – There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
Lily Allen – LDN (Warbox rmx)
Madison Park – All About The Groove (Ielo’s Super Chill rmx)
Dephazz – Better World
Sunburn In Cyprus – Out Of Sight
Karmacoda – Delay The Sun
Natalie Walker – Right Here
Sigor Ros – Heysatan
Fiest – Past In Present
Zap Mama – 1000 Ways
4 Hero f. Ursula Rucker – The Awakening
Toddy Ivy – Sunday Afternoon
Sally Shapiro – I’ll Be By Your Side
Sophie & Ives – Awaken
Chilled By Nature f. Mozez – State Of Grace
Mo’ Horizons – Sunshine Today
Shine – In The Midlife Zone
Mazachigno – The Last Flight To Rome
AtJazz – Day 2001
Jazzamor – Beautiful Day
Jack Bohl of Folk Expresso
1. Josh Rouse- “Country Mouse, City House”. Terrific variety of moods and styles, carried off with class by his great band.
2. Josh Ritter- “The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter”. Superb songs, great band, great arrangements. I’d heard he was a great performer, but I wasn’t prepared for how good he was at the Aladdin Theater in October. After about 5 or 6 unbelievably great songs and performances I thought he’d run out of killer songs. But he played for 2 hours and never ran out of great songs. This CD rocks harder than previous recordings, but his band, augmented by soulful horns, are brilliant.
3. The Dimes- “The Silent Generation”. Startlingly original songs, brilliant pop melodies and arrangements, and gorgeous harmonies from this up and coming Portland band. It’s fun to spot the influences (Beatles, Beach Boys, Death Cab, Arcade Fire). Hand claps were ubiquitous in Indie Rock in 2007, and are well utilized here. I first heard this on the great new show “In House” on KOPB, the local NPR station that used to only feature boring NPR music. Thanks, Jeremy, for some refreshing new music.
4. Ry Cooder- “My Name is Buddy”. A dazzling tour de force. Based on a postcard Ry received with a photo of a cat in a suitcase on a Leadbelly postcard that cryptically stated you’ll know what to do with this, it’s a story of America told through the adventures of Buddy the Red Cat, Lefty Mouse, and the Reverend Tom Toad as they wander through the mythic Dust Bowl Era America, sort of Pogo sung by Woody Guthrie. The rootsy music evokes Ry’s brilliant first 3 albums, with excellent guest performances by Mike and Pete Seeger, bluegrass singer and mandolinist Roland White, and Paddy Maloney of the Chieftains. The CD comes in a hard cover book with lyrics, great illustrations, and storied fleshing out each of the songs. There’s a couple odd
songs that don’t fit in well, but it’s still Brilliant.
5. Wilco- “Sky Blue Sky”. Jeff Tweedy has finally gotten the experimental noise out of his system, at least for this album. There’s still an edge in Nels Cline’s guitar work- it’s exquisite on “Impossible Germany”. This is the finest band Tweedy has ever played with, and the songs are more straightforward and melodic. Their show at the Edgefield in August was fantastic.
6. Robert Plant and Alison Krause- “Raising Sand”. When I heard about this I thought it sounded like a gimmick and was ready to dismiss it as an absurd marketing ploy. Then I saw that it was on an independent label and was produced by T Bone Burnett. It’s a bit self conscious but T Bone and his band, and well chosen songs, make it all work.
7. Nick Lowe- “At My Age”. This veers toward muzak, but the great band, subtle arrangements, and understated songwriting and singing make this great relaxing music. For boomers, mainly.
8. Laura Veirs- “Saltbreakers”. I love all the imagery of the sea. The band and arrangements are brilliant. More handclaps, the instrument of the year.
9. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova – “The Swell Season”. Haunting melodies, harmonies, and instrumentation. A better duet recording than “Raising Sand”.
10. Peter Mulvey- “The Knuckleball Suite” (2006). Peter opened for Willy Porter in February and blew me away. Like Willy Porter, he’s from my hometown of Milwaukee (Wisconsin, spelled with 2 es). He used to play in the subways of Boston, and recorded
an album there. Brilliant songwriter, great performer. Best opening act I’ve seen in a Loonng time.
Marc de Giere of Plugged In
Amon Tobin - "Foley Room"
Do Make Say Think - "You, You're a History in the Rust"
Explosions in the Sky - "All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone"
Copy - "Hair Guitar"
Feist - "The Reminder"
Chemical Brothers - "We Are the Night"
LCD Soundsystem - "Sound of Silver"
Stereo Total - "Paris Berlin"
New Young Pony Club - "Fantastic Playroom"
MGMT - "Oracular Spectacular"