There is a poem by a Russian poet Velimir Khlebnikov titled "When Horses Die" that I came across to by accident. It goes like "When horses die they breathe when grasses die, they wither, when suns die they go out, and when people die they sing songs." For many musicians, the year 2016 was final and their swan songs reflected their thoughts and emotions about the inevitable final curtain-call. The best records of the year 2016 reflected that issue on mortality or tragedy starting from singers David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen to Nick Cave to name but a few. A plethora of writers, directors and actors have left us this year reminding how fleeting life actually is. To me it was Bowie's Blackstar was the record that marked the year 2016. It was a hard year on every front and it yielded excellent new recordings, reissues, books, and videos. It also marked the dominance of vinyl record over digital releases. The Top 10 of everything is always a process of sifting through an avalanche of records and panning for gold. It was the best of times and it was the worst of times. Here is hoping that 2017 will be better.
I love jazz because it makes you reach inside and outside.
I was first exposed to jazz as a student of Pat Martino.
I met Michael Urbaniak at the Bottom Line in NYC.
The best show I ever attended was Pat Martino at the Village Vanguard.
The first jazz record I bought was STRINGS by Pat Martino
My advice to new listeners stay loose.