Monday, December 30, 2019

News of Past Guests, New Year 2020 Edition

Where did the holidays go?  Let's catch up quick for Auld Lang Syne, shall we?

In the jazz mediasphere:
  • In "Two Become One" (Jazz Times December 2019), Jeff Tamarkin writes about bassist Chris Lightcap's "supergroup," Super-Bigmouth.
  • Meanwhile, in the November Jazz Times, Shaun Brady gives clarinetist/multi-reedist Ben Goldberg an "Overdue Ovation."
  • And way back in October, Jazz Times writer Geoffrey Himes profiled guitarist Ben Monder in "The Understated Appeal of Ben Monder."
  • For the December issue of DownBeat, drummer Antonio Sánchez subjected himself to the "Blindfold Test"--and passed with flying colors. The print version hasn't yet been made available online, but you can listen to it as it was recorded at this year's Monterey Jazz Festival:

A lot of people have sworn off the hoary "Top 10 List" this year, but...

  • Jazz Times compiled its writers' Top 50 picks for 2019, and that list reads like a Who's Who of RJA alumni: Camila Meza's Ámbar (#4), Tom Harrell's Infinity (#6), Johnathan Blake's Trion (#9), Linda May Han Oh's Aventurine (#10), Dave Douglas/Uri Caine/Andrew Cyrille's Devotion (#12), the Fabian Almazan Trio's This Land Abounds With Life (#13), Miguel Zenón's Sonero: The Music of Ismael Rivera (#16), Ralph Alessi's Imaginary Friends (#17), the Anat Cohen Tentet's Triple Helix (#18), Melissa Aldana's Visions (#22), Frank Kimbrough's Monk's Dreams (#25), Ryan Keberle & Catharsis' The Hope I Hold (#26), Tyshawn Sorey & Marilyn Crispell's The Adornment of Time (#27), Fred Hersh & WDR Big Band's Begin Again (#36), and Allison & Miller's Boom Tic Boom's Glitter Wolf (#37).
  • The Ottawa Citizen's Peter Hum, one of the smartest, most sympathetic jazz writers around, also includes Meza, Oh, Almazan, and Blake (3, 2, 4, and 16) in his year-end list, along with Ben Monder's Day After Day (14) and Jason Palmer's Rhyme and Reason (15).
  • Those names--and other past RJA guests (Parlour Game, Noah Preminger, Scott Robinson)--show up again and again on other lists (LA Times,, AllAbout Jazz, the Jazz Journalists' Association, PopMatters, the Chicago Tribune).  See for yourself here.

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