It could be age, but I promise, each year seems to flash by faster than the last. But for all of its blur and haste, some of the music of 2012 stopped me right in my tracks. This has been the year of great debates and bold musical statements. It has also been a year of losing those who have left us way, way too soon. I was privileged enough to write about some of the artists who put out what I feel is the best music of this year. I covered modern legends like Dee Dee Bridgewater and the late, great Gil Scott-Heron, and also those just starting to make waves like vocalist and educator Johnaye Kendrick. My proudest moment as a journalist this year, writing the liner notes for what is probably one of the most important records of the last several years — Robert Glasper’s Black Radio. (And although my involvement with this album prohibits me from listing it on my list of Bests, if you read the liners, I think you’re pretty clear on where this project stands for me.) I interviewed inheritors of jazz royalty like Max Roach about what they’re doing to keep their family legacies going strong. This was also a year of stretching beyond my blog, writing for notable publications and sites like DownBeat and NPR Music. I also lectured at U Penn as a guest of my education idols, Dr. Guthrie Ramsey and Dr. Salamishah Tillet. Or you may have caught me as the co-emcee of the 2012 Jazz Journalist Association Awards. I also recently did a panel with the Association on young(ish) bloggers in the jazz community. I guess you could say 2012 was a pretty busy year for The Improbable Aficionado.
I’m really happy to share my favorite albums of this year with all of you; and relieved that I made the 2012 cutoff! Hopefully you’ll check some of them out and hopefully you’ll continue reading Alternate Takes in the new year to check out some profiles of artists on these lists and beyond.
For more list info, you can check me and my partners out over at Nextbop. We out together some pretty dope year-end reading for you.
And now…without further delay.
(Forgive the lack of album covers/photos in this post…WordPress isn’t in a good mood today!)
Top 10 New Releases 2012 – Jazz
1. Gregory Porter Be Good
2. Kurt Rosenwinkel Star of Jupiter
3. Vijay Iyer Accelerando
4. Mike Moreno Another Way
5. Ravi Coltrane Spirit Fiction
6. Lionel Loueke Heritage
7. Orrin Evans Flip the Script
8. Brad Mehldau Where Do You Start
9. Marcus Miller Renaissance
10. Christian Scott Christian aTunde Adjuah
Top 10 New Releases 2012 – Non Jazz
Top 3 Re-Issues 2012
Woody Shaw The Complete Columbia Albums Collection
Dave Brubeck The Columbia Studio Albums Collection 1955-1966
Charlie Christian The Genius of the Electric Guitar
Best Latin Jazz Album 2012
Chano Dominguez Flamenco Sketches