Hoon’s Muso Tunes Favorite Music for 2011

Here are 105 of my favorite recordings from 2011. I put in the time, so, maybe, you don’t have to. This tip of the iceberg, revealed here, stands atop a mountainous amount of satisfying music. Unlike last year, the recap is all in one place, and from my perspective I note lots of interesting juxtapositions. It was terrific year for archival digging and reconstitution. The Beach Boys Smile Sessions may stand on top, but the scorching sessions from Miles Davis (1967) and Jimmy Hendrix (1968) mark out other staggering musical moments from the sixties.

Matana Roberts struck me as a likely leading light of the improv year after hearing her two superb records the first time. She made it first across the finish line of my highest estimations with her sturdy and sophisticated updating of Great Black Music; i.e. the so-called Chicago avant-garde. The last ten years in Jazz have turned about the arrival of a brilliant wave of youngish players. This year Matana Roberts, Peter Evans, and Colin Stetson, scratched my radar screen. Meanwhile in 2012 Phil Woods turns 81 and Stan Tracey turns 86. Abdullah Ibrahim turns 78. Hopefully each has another brilliant record or two or more in ’em.

Hidden gems in my listing here include Dengue Fever’s Cannibal Courtship, a rollicking, syncretic world beat bounce-around; Ablaye Ndiaye Thiossane, who at 76 came back with a record of Senegalese rhumbas; and another comeback item from Plaid, Scintilli. Maria Minerva’s Sacred and Profane Love helped fill the gap for an Ariel Pink-less year. The Belle Brigade’s backward-looking west coast pop rock won me over, edging out Old Californo and The Dawes for pride of place in the department of guilty pleasures. Ndidi Onukwulu’s The Escape proves we in fact do need an ebony Cat Power.

Bjork’s Bibliophilia earns special mention because in its “app” form for mobile devices she pulled the cover off of one engrossing prototype for the future modalities for pop music. Finally, Glen Campbell’s Ghost On the Canvas is likely his last record, and may well be his best too. It was without a doubt the most courageous record of the year.

TWELVE MUSIC ESSENTIALS – 2011

1. The Beach Boys – The Smile Sessions
2. Matana Roberts – Coin Coin, Chapter One: Gens de Couleur Libres
3. Miles Davis – Live in Europe 1967- The Bootleg Series V.1
4. Bon Iver – Bon Iver
5. Fleet Foxes- Helplessness Blues
6. Bombino – Agadez
7. Dengue Fever – Cannibal Courtship
8. Stan Tracey – Soundcheck
9. Bjork – Biophilia
10. Ellen Fullman – Through Glass Panes
11. Charles Bradley – No Time for Dreaming
12. Ebo Taylor – Highlife & Afrobeat Classics 1973-1980

JAZZ – PROGRESSIONS

1. (a) Matana Roberts – Coin Coin, Chapter One: Gens de Couleur Libres(b) Matana Roberts – Live in London
2. Satoko Fujii Min-Yoh Ensemble – Watershed
3. Peter Evans Quintet – Ghosts
4. Colin Stetson – New History Warfare Vol.2- Judges
5. Craig Taborn – Avenging Angel
6. David S. Ware – Planetary Unknown
7. Wadada Leo Smith’s Organic – Heart’s Reflections
8, Irene Schweizer – Chicago Piano Solo
9. Joe McPhee & Chris Corsano – Under a Double Moon
10. William Parker & The Element Choir – At Christ Church Deer Park
11. Bill Dixon – Envoi

JAZZ – TRADITIONS

1. Stan Tracey – Soundcheck
2. Keith Jarrett – Rio
3. Phil Woods & Bill Mays – Woods & Mays
4. Charles Lloyd & Maria Farantouri – Athens Concert
5. Eric Reed – The Dancing Monk
6. Erena Terakubo – New York Attitude
7. Joe Lovano – Us Five – Bird Songs
8. Captain Black Big Band – Captain Black Big Band
9. Jack DeJohnette – Group Live at Yoshi’s
10. Lee Konitz, Brad Mehldau – Live at Birdland

JAZZ – HISTORY

1. Miles Davis – Live in Europe 1967- The Bootleg Series V.1
2. Weather Report – Live In Berlin 1975
3. George Russell – Things New – Unissued Concerts 1960 & 1964
4. Weather Report – Live in Offenbach 1977
5. Miles Davis – Bitches Brew Live

WORLD

1. Dengue Fever – Cannibal Courtship
2. Omara Portuondo & Chucho Valde – Omara & Chucho
3. Hossam Ramzy – Rock the Tabla
4. Adanowsky – Amador
5. Carlo De Rosa’s Cross-Fade – Brain Dance
6. Kiran Ahluwalia – Aam Zameen Common-Ground
7. Omar Souleyman – Haflat Gharbia_ The Western Concerts
8. Stephen Marley – Revelation Pt. 1 The Root Of Life
9. Aurelio Martinez – Laru Beya
10. Nana Vasconcelos – Sinfonia & Batuques

AFRICA

1. Bombino – Agadez
Ablaye Ndiaye Thiossane – Thiossane
2. Mamadou Diabate – Courage
3. Tinariwen – Tassili
4. Vusi Mahlasela – Say Africa
5. Cheikh Lo – Jamm
6. Dawda Jobarteh – Northern Light Gambian Night
7. Fatoumata Diawara – Fatou
8. Tamikrest – Toumastin
9. Seun Kuti And The Egypt 80 – From Africa With Fury Rise
10. Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya – Sotho Blue

AFRICA – REISSUES

1. Ebo Taylor – Life Stories (Highlife & Afrobeat Classics 1973-1980)
2. El Rego – El Rego
3. va – Bambara Mystic Soul- The Raw Sound of Burkina Faso
4. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo – Cotonou Club
5. Remi Kabaka – Black Goddess – The Soundtrack from Ola Balogun’s film

 

EXPERIMENTAL – SLOW

1. Ellen Fullman – Through Glass Panes
2. Mark McGuire – Get Lost
3. Thisquietarmy – Vessels
4. Barn Owl – Shadowland
5. Hallock Hill – The Union
6. Julianna Barwick – The Magic Place
7. Le Revelateur – Fictions
8. Killimanjaro Dark Jazz Ensemble – From The Stairwell
9. Bill Orcutt – How the Thing Sings
10. Aidan Baker With Kevin Micka – Green Figures

EXPERIMENTAL – BEATS

1. Bjork – Biophilia
2. Tim Hecker – Ravedeath
3. Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica
4. Banquet of the Spirits – Caym. The Book Of Angels V. 17
5. Plaid – Scintilli
6. Nicholas Jaar – Space Is Only Noise
7. Gorillaz – The Singles Collection
8. Gold Panda – DJ-Kicks
9. various – The Remix According To Nightmares On Wax
10. various – Ninja Tune XX Rarities

 

POP – FOLK

1. Fleet Foxes- Helplessness Blues
2. The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow
3. Bill Callahan – Apocalypse
4. Ry Cooder – Pull Up Some Dust And Sit Down
5. Eilen Jewell – Queen of the Minor Key
6. The Black Lillies – 100 Miles of Wreckage
7. Liz Green – O, Devotion!
8. Austin Lucas – A New Home in the Old World
9. Buddy Miller – The Majestic Silver Strings
10. Gillian Welch – The Harrow and the Harvest

POP – OLD TIMERS

1. The Beach Boys – The Smile Sessions
2. Tom Waits – Bad As Me
3. Cowboy Junkies – Demons – The Nomad Series, Volume 2
4. Glen Campbell – Ghost On The Canvas
5. Garland Jefferys – The King of In Between
6. Bobby Charles – Bobby Charles
7. Dave Alvin – Eleven Eleven
8. The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Winterland
9. Lindsey Buckingham – Songs From the Small Machine
10. Ray Davies – See My Friends

POP & ROCK

1. Bon Iver – Bon Iver
2. Feist – Metals
3. The Belle Brigade – The Belle Brigade
4. Wild Flag – Wild Flag
5. Glossary – Long Live All Of Us
6. tUnE-yArDs – Who Kill
7. Old Californio – Sundrunk Angels
8. Maria Minerva – Sacred and Profane Love
9. TV On the Radio – Nine TYpes of Light
10. Wilco – The Whole Love

SOUL & BLUES

1. Charles Bradley – No Time for Dreaming 
2. Steve Cropper – Dedicated, A Salute to the Five Royales
3. Eric Bibb with Staffan Astner – Troubadour Live
4. Mayer Hawthorne – Impressions
5. Meshell Ndegeocello – Weather
6. Ndidi Onukwulu – The Escape
7. Tracy Nelson – Victim Of The Blues
8. Lucky Peterson – Every Second A Fool Is Born
9. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings – Soul Time! vol. 1
10. Five Blind Boys of Alabama – Take the High Road

ROCK – HISTORY

1. REM – Part Lies Part Heart Part Truth Part Garbage 1982-2011
2. The Brian Jonestown Massacre – The Singles Collection 1992-2011
3. Lou Reed – Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal
4. Mekons – Ancient & Modern 1911-2011
5. The Rolling Stones – Some Girls

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