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2013 CDs – A personal top 10

November 23, 2013

’tis the season to make top 10 lists. Not a game I usually join for recordings, though I do read them. But I had a strong feeling reading through the critics’ choices in the latest Jazzwise that there is, I’m not sure what to call it: a layer missing, I suppose.

All the ones that get in are entirely understandable – I’ve heard quite a few of the aggregated top 20, or have them on order (Wayne Shorter oversight!) – and they are by important, and usually well-promoted practitioners. But there’s a preponderance of familiar US big names. Others, especially UK musicians, are sparser. Most get mentioned by just one or two people, if at all.

I buy quite a few CDs on gigs, or as a result of hearing a live show, so the ones on my “most listened too” list are mostly different from the JazzWise list – which in the end doesn’t look that different from, say, a Downbeat poll.

So, with deliberate omission of recordings that have already made the top of the votes in Jazzwise, (ruling out, for instance the rather wonderful Quercus) here’s an alternative ten new releases from 2013 (maybe 2012 in some cases, I guess), all from bands who  I heard perform this year – save for the last, which is an oldie.

In no particular order:

Compassionate DictatorshipEntertaining Tyrants

Nick Malcolm QuartetGlimmers

DakhlaThe Eye of Icarus

Impossible GentlemenInternationally Recognised Aliens

Kit Downes QuintetLight from Old Stars

Marius NesetBirds

Dave StapletonFlight

Mike Gibbs + Twelveplay Gil Evans

Jeff WilliamsThe Listener

Brotherhood of BreathProcession: Live in Toulouse

I’m more inclined to discard CDs these days, at least in principle – because of houseroom. ease of replacement, or just mislaying the damn files…  But these are all definite keepers.

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