best music ’08

As the year in music winds to a close it’s time to look back at some of the stand-outs of ’08.

This started out as a Top 10 List, but quickly grew into a Top 11 and then, because we need more than “one more”, especially this year, a Top 12 List emerged.

There’s lot’s of diversity here from Jazz to Folk to modern Big Band. Names you know and names you may not.  But, all share a legitimate honesty, inventiveness and passion for the music …that’s palpable.  Pick them up for Holiday gifts, share them, enjoy them, sing along and stay sparked.  

In no particular order here goes;

1. Tell Tale Signs, The Bootleg Series Vol. 8 Rare and Unreleased, Bob Dylan

Amazing out-takes, live cuts and unreleased tracks from 1989 – 2006, a must for the die hard Dylan fan.  So good they could have been released as other non-“bootleg” albums.

2. Miles From India,  Various Miles Davis Alumni and Indian Musicians

A global, cross-cultural, mind bending musical summit of Miles’ music played by his alumni and virtuoso Indian musicians; Chick Corea, Marcus Miller, Ravi Cari, Vikku Vinayakram et. al.

3. Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes

The Byrds meet the Beach Boys and CSNY in Seattle in their 20’s

4. There’s Me and There’s You, The Matthew Herbert Big Band

Big band protest songs mixed up with soulful vocals, electronic samples .. sophisticated, jazz, wild and intoxicating.

5. Electric Arguments, The Fireman

McCartney and Youth let their inner freak flag fly.  Paul’s best work in ages

6. Sex and Gasoline, Rodney Crowell

Smart, socially tuned-in songs from a gifted writer, that you can’t get out of your head

7. Dear Science, TV On The Radio

A brilliant mash-up of hip hop, r&b, drum and bass, jazz .. catchy, smart, now-music ..defies categorization

8. Gently Disturbed, Avishi Cohen Trio

Truly inventive, classically influenced bass, piano, drums trio work from one of the world’s best bassists

9. Acid Tongue,  Jenny Lewis

Smokey, dark, sharp, hipster folk and rock.  With guests Elvis Costello, Chris Robinson, M. Ward, sounding fine

10. If The World Was You, JD Souther

A real surprise and return to a “new” form  .. jazz tunes from a master lyricist, still in great voice

11. Carried To Dust, Calexico

Fine border town music .. where latin horns meet folk songs good tequila and an occasional Peyote bud 

12. The Works, Jonatha Brooke

Never heard Woody Guthrie lyrics beautifully set to music and sung by Jonatha … backed by stellar Jazz musicians


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