In terms of jazz 2016 has been a strong year with a number of solid releases and this has made the task of choosing twelve releases all that more difficult. The selections I have made take the listening on a journey from Matthew Bourne and his experimental sounds of the Moog to Nat Birchall more traditional saxophone playing. 2016 also saw the emergence of young talent such as Elliot Galvin as well as some great independent record labels and it would difficult to ignore their contribution to the year so this is the reason for their inclusion I really hope you enjoy the selections as much as I have listening to them.
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.