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Year in Review

C. Michael Bailey’s Best Releases of 2016


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Shifting priorities in 2016 prevented me from either listening to or reviewing as much music as I have in the past. Thus, I did not take a swing at many fine recordings that by all accounts should be on this list like: John Scofield's Country for Old Men (Impulse!); Keith Jarrett's A Multitude of Angels (ECM); Frank Kimbrough's Solstice (Pirouet Records); Joe Lovano's Classic! Live at Newport (Blue Note Records); or Michael Formanek's Ensemble Kolossus' The Distance (ECM).

I cite my fellow All About Jazz colleagues because of a long relationship with them, their inherent erudition, and their uncanny ability to get me to listen to things I otherwise might miss. To them I say thank you. This next year will mark my 20th year writing for AAJ. Twenty years ago, I was 38 years old looking for an outlet for my music writing that had eluded me until I came across a call for articles from one Michael Ricci in Philadelphia. I emailed my review of Art Pepper's San Francisco Samba (Contemporary, 1997) and it magically appeared among these electrons at just the time the Internet was taking off. And here I am, 2,000 writing pieces later, richer for the people I have met through this website and grateful for them all.

Roswell Rudd & Heather Masse
August Love Song
(Red House Records)

Roswell Rudd/Jamie Saft / Trevor Dunn/Balazs Pandi
Strength & Power

Thad Jones & Mel Lewis
All My Yesterdays: The Debut 1966 Recordings at the Village Vanguard
(Resonance Records)

Jane Monheit
Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald
(Emerald City Records)

Dida Pelled
A Missing Shade of Blue
Red Records

Shirley Horn
Shirley Horn Live at the 4 Queen
(Resonance Records)

Bobby Previte

Mike Neer
(Self Produced)

Alyssa Allgood
Out of the Blue
(Jeru Jazz Records)

Van Morrison
It's Too Late to Stop Now...Volumes I-IV
(SMG Records)

Tony Moreno
Short Stories
(Mayimba Music)

The Rolling Stones
Blue and Lonesome
(Polydor Records)

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