Personally, despite my best efforts, I have found 2013 a fallow year for great new music. I know, I know, thousands of you, well a few anyway, who read this blog, will say “ But what about so-and-so , or so-and-so, and then there’s ………….”. Well, they passed me by, or maybe they didn’t and they just didn’t push my buttons. The ones that did really rose up through the pile and would have done in any year. I didn’t get turned-on-and-dropped-out every week but when I did the music
So, here, for your delectation, are my recommendations, my best of 2013. There is no mention of Phish because I’ve already posted about a Phish summer and they were indeed great. They would be included otherwise.
In no particular order:
The New Gary Burton Quartet – the “Guided Tour” album. The vibes virtuoso’s latest band. This video goes some way to explaining why when I saw this band in May and could have listened to them all night. Just delicious jazz, man.
Sam Amidon – from the “Bright Sunny South” album – “My Old Friend” . A super album with some great soloing by Kenny Wheeler on trumpet. Inventive interpretations of folksiness.
Rokia Traore – from the album “Beautiful Africa” – “Melancolie”. Spellbinding.
Dhafer Youssef – “Birds Requiem” – “39th Gulay to Istanbul” . Dhafer Youssef has to be seen to be believed. His vocals transcend. His music seeps into your soul. His latest album, “Birds Requiem” is a leaning towards his middle eastern roots. The music is stunning and inspiring. Love this guy.
And finally, during 2013 Rhino Records finally got around to releasing one of my favourite all-time Dead tapes in glorious CD quality. “The Field Trip”, as it is known, is the benefit concert played by the Grateful Dead on 27th August 1972. Whenever we have a hot day in the summer I lay on my back in the grass, close my eyes, and put this into my ears, and I’m there. Warning: Lots of sunburnt skin. Enjoy …………