My muso colleague Dr. Bill weighed in at the end of January with his best of 2013 jazz choices. His list names a top ten. There is one point of overlap between our different estimations, Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom date, No Morphine No Lillies.
Yet, I too enjoy almost everything I also heard that is on his larger list. Our tastes are very similar.
Local educator and jazz pianist, composer, bandleader, David Ake appears at the top of his list. Last year he became the head of the music department at Case Western Reserve University and put out a fine small ensemble date, Bridges. I like the record immensely.
Dr. Bill has been broadcasting on CWRU’s WRUW 91.1 for decades. Walking Dr. Bills’ Rhythm and Blues Survey starts at 10pm on Aunday, and his jazz hour, Bird Calls follows at 11pm. He is truly an expert, advocate, and reviewer and scholar.
For me, Bill was also, along with Harvey Pekar, one of my key musical mentors. I first met back when I worked in a Cleveland Heights record store, Budget Records and Tapes, in the winter of 1971. He insisted I check out Howlin’ Wolf–and I did so–and he then carried the blues flames to me. (Harvey covered the jazz fire.) We both became crazed jazz heads over the next many years and we both worked in music retail and were broadcasters, Bill here in Cleveland, and me in Middlebury, Vermont.
I was pleased as punch that we took up our friendship when I returned in 1992. We get together and have what we call sessions–something muso tend to do!