These are all albums that have measured up to lots of listening and just seem to get better and better. They are the ones I will treasure for many years to come.
With some the listening experience is enhanced by memories of hearing and seeing the music played live. I first heard about Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra from Initiative Musik’s Michael Wallies who very kindly gave me his promotional copy of this disc after I had seen the band playing in the Schlachthof in Bremen.
Similarly Mark Pringle’s music on A Moveable Feast is enriched by hearing the full band at The Spotted Dog and then some trio interpretations at The Red Lion, both in Birmingham; Marcus Miller performed some of his album at Birmingham Town Hall; Mathias Eick’s Midwest quintet gave a barnstorming performance of their album at the Sendesaal in Bremen as part of ECM Club Night at Jazz Ahead; and Håkon Kornstad was doubly brilliant at the Victoria Nasjonal Jazzscene in Oslo.
In November I realised one of my dreams: to hear the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra live in Symphony Hall. The Thompson Fields is their finest album yet, and that really is saying something!
Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra
Live On Planet Earth
A Moveable Feast
Thoroughly original writing and strikingly performed. Full review here.
I somehow missed this three-CD set when it was first released, and then it felt too late to review it. Epic is the word! Kamasi’s website is here.
Mr Bass Fingers sounds rejuvenated by his world travels. Full review here.
This album starts at Ronnie’s in 1990 and ends there in 2014. Full review here.
Let It Be Told
South African jazz played by non-South Africans has never sounded quite this good. Full review here.
The addition of violin brings fresh nuances to this already lovely music. Full review here.
Some Places Are Forever Afternoon
It’ll make you want to drive through Montana with the windows down. Full review here.
Kornstad is a tenor saxophonist and an operatic tenor – and marvellous being both. Full review here.
Maria Schneider Orchestra
The Thompson Fields
It doesn’t matter how many words I devote to this music, I’ll never be able to do it justice. Just add your support on ArtistShare and listen. Full review here.
Categories: Festive 50