Monday, 7 December 2015

Edge of Jazz Top Ten Albums of 2015:

These are in no particular order, but are the albums that I've enjoyed the most during 2015, and in a couple of cases that listeners have said that they really enjoyed as well. Trying to explain why I like some of the chosen ten is almost as difficult, because sometimes with music it's all in the notes....

"Skyline" Tom Green Septet:  

Difficult to think of an album that I've played more than this one (perhaps with the exception of the next one!). This album is a stunning example of what British jazz is about in 2015. Even with the difficulty and expense of keeping a seven piece on the road, Tom also played some blinding live gigs - one of which I was able to attend- and live the band surpassed the sound that they achieved on this magnificent album.

"Outsiders Insiders" Emily Saunders:

I did wonder after the long wait after "Cotton Skies" whether Emily could deliver anything that would better it. This did it in spades. Helped by an empathetic backing 'band' the album contains a series of songs that were, from my point of view, unsurpassed in 2015. Working on the assumption that the south-west might provide a somewhat better summer in 2016 than it did this year, this will be a window open-must play album for next summer- and probably until she tells me the follow up is ready to go.

"You've got to dig it to dig it, dig?" Derek Nash Acoustic Quartet:

This crept out right at the end of the year and is a wonderfully paced set of tunes that are lovingly and creatively crafted by the whole quartet to follow up their previous album "Joyriding" and actually includes "Morning Glory" from that set as a bonus track. You can hear the premise on which the tunes were created by listening to my 1st December show on the Phonic.FM Mixcloud page - and hear two of the tracks as well.

"String Theory" Partikel:

Since the series of dates that they did touring to promote the album they seem to have spent a lot of time abroad (including a visit to China). This remains a favourite, possible as a result of seeing them at my 'gig of the year' at St Lawrence's Chapel in Ashburton [venue of the year bar none!] The whole concept is a strong one, and the string quartet is both empathetic and supportive to what the band are trying to achieve.

"Fables" Girls in Airports:

This the fourth album from the Danish band was the first to have an international release. One of my younger listeners e mailed me to say "Cool-jazz for people who don't know they like jazz" It's difficult to top that description, but this meld of two saxes, a rhythm section and Mathias Holm's keyboard playing certainly has a novel and at times haunting sound.

The remaining six albums follow!!!

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