Best Online Bets of 2004
Best Modern Jazz "Album"
Yaniv Nachum Quartet - ynquartet.cjb.net
This European-based quartet has one collection of studio performances and another of live takes at their site. Their music, which "varies from traditional jazz, swing to Middle Eastern with folk music influences involve with odd meters and modern improvisations," rivals the best among scores of commercial modernistic offerings I've acquired this year. Part of this is no doubt due to the international diversity of the players, who bring all kinds of fresh sounds and ideas while still maintaining exceptional compatibility.
Best Music Blog
Largehearted Boy - blog.largeheartedboy.com
I confess to much hesitation here, given the sheer number of these - not to mention little of the content is jazz-related. But in the end this is the blog I read every day for updates on downloads and the music scene in general - if it wasn't here, a link to where something did exist usually was. And I discovered postings nobody else mentioned, such as a number of Miles Davis shows including a collaboration with Prince that long was only available as a bootleg.
This looks to be the year I start measuring hard drives in terabytes, as even my 30GB iPod is feeling downright puny. Still, I take comfort knowing one doesn't have to be rich to join the revolution: my player of choice for daily workouts and such remains a $39 handheld CD/MP3 player that plays 12 hours of music at a time on discs that cost mere pennies.