In early December I usually make a year-end mix of the tunes I’ve enjoyed for distribution with a small group of friends. That circle of distribution has grown smaller over the last five or so years. Last year, I didn’t make a mix at all. I made one this year, but — for a couple of reasons — have not shared it beyond a couple of folks in town.
One reason, which probably makes a difference if you’re curious enough to go listen, is that the two mixes are almost entirely jazz or jazz-adjacent, and I know that’s to everyone’s taste. I’m not going to impose an expectation of some kind of reaction on someone who is going to feel a burden to respond. If you like jazz, great — follow the links to listen. If not, we can chat about something else.
The second reason is, as I think the music in the mix largely conveys, I feel like I have less to say than I did several years ago. It doesn’t mean I’m any less interested in the world around me — I’m thinking about it about the same amount as always — but that I am reserving comment for moments when I think it’s most important or valuable. Not everything I think needs to be a public thought, and not everything I would wish to express needs to happen through words.
Finally, before we get to the mixes: You will see a link to a public Spotify playlist following the track list. Do not follow me on Spotify. I do not regularly use the service. These may be the only playlists I share in the next eleven months — or ever.
2018 (Mix One)
- The Kenny Barron Quintet – Aquele Frevo Axé | Concentric Circles
- Emil Brandqvist Trio – Starlings | Within a Dream
- Snorre Kirk – Blues Overture | Beat
- Bombino – Adounia Idagh | Deran
- David Virelles – Tapame Que Tengo Frio | Igbo Alakorin (The Singer’s Grove) Vol. I & II
- Pablo Lapidusas International Trio – Nandri | Bora
- Bixiga 70 – Levante | Quebra Cabeça
- Thompson Egbo-Egbo – Gangsta’s Paradise | Gangsta’s Paradise – Live at The Horseshoe Tavern
- Orquestra Akokán – Mambo Rapidito | Orquestra Akokán
- Anbessa Orchestra – Gize Suite | Negestat
- Sons of Kemet – My Queen is Harriet Tubman | Your Queen is a Reptile
- Bill Frisell – Change in the Air | Music IS
- Pipe Dream – Summer Prayer | Pipe Dream
- John Prine – Summer’s End | The Tree of Forgiveness
- Bobo Stenson Trio – Canción Contra la Indecisión | Contra la Indecisión
- Tord Gustavsen Trio – The Other Side | The Other Side
- Mathais Eick – For My Grandmothers | Ravensburg
Note: Spotify does not have Track 5, David Virelles’ glimpse into the musical heritage of Santiago de Cuba via his beautiful rendition of “Tapame Que Tengo Frio.” Instead, I have included Kamasi Washington’s “Testify” from Heaven and Earth.
Listen on Spotify
2018 (Mix Two)
- Dmitry Chemierv Quintet – Ghost | Dmitry Chemierv Quintet [EP]
- Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, & Jack DeJohnette – One for Majid | After the Fall
- Cuong Vu 4-tet – Alive | Change in the Air
- Anthony Joseph – Suffering | People of the Sun
- Tohru Aizawa Quartet – Samba de Orfeu | Tachibana
- Yellowjackets – Mutuality | Raising Our Voice
- Daniel Erdmann, Christophe Marguet, Claude Tchamitchian, & Henri Texier – A n’importe quel prix | Three Roads Home
- Aaron Parks – Small Planet | Little Big
- Edward Simon – Uninvited Thoughts (with Afinidad & Imani Winds) | Sorrows & Triumphs
- Trygve Seim – Ciaccona per Embrik | Helsinki Songs
- Charlie Haden & Brad Mehldau – My Old Flame | Long Ago and Far Away
Listen on Spotify