Monday, January 4, 2010

End-Of-Year List #3 - Best Live Music Experienced in NYC - Top Nine in '09

I'm not posting a best albums or singles list. I think this list of live music better represents my "year in music". Plus, with the possible exception of Alasdair MacLean (whose records with the Clientele seem perfectly realized), all of the artists on this list are better experienced live than through their recordings.

I could make another list of the live music I most regret missing out on, and it would probably look as good, if not better, than this list. There's so much good stuff out there. I resolve to catch more of it in 2010.

Please note that the following are in alphabetical order, not in order of preference (ranking stuff is hard, maybe even pointless):

The Bottle Rockets at Mercury Lounge - the Mercury Lounge is the place to go to hear the rock'n'roll, most especially when the Bottle Rockets are in town (related post here)

Anthony Braxton (with the Walter Thompson Orchestra) at The Irondale Center
- there was talk of a possible release of the recordings from these shows - I'd love to have the opportunity to relisten to this music, but I think this was a case where the cliche truly applies - you kinda had to be there (my original review is here)

Ornette Coleman at Jazz At Lincoln Center
- still reinventing, searching, and making music that sounds like no one else (my original review is here)

Bill Frisell Trio at the Village Vanguard
- I saw Bill Frisell in several different contexts this year - tough to choose the best - getting to see Ron Carter work his magic up close in a trio with Frisell and Paul Motian was a rare pleasure, and the annual Motian-Frisell-Lovano run at the Vanguard was certainly up to their high standard - but I'm going with this trio set because I think it was the best I heard Frisell play this year (my original, kind of goofy, review is here)

Fred Hersch Trio at Smalls
- I saw Hersch (with different drummers) at Smalls and the Vanguard this year - both were excellent, but I'll give the nod to Smalls because it's pretty much the place to see piano (my original not-really-a-review is here)

Alasdair MacLean at Joe's Pub
- playing with members of the Ladybug Transistor, this was, surprisingly, even better than the most recent Clientele NYC appearance (my original review is here)

Paul Motian/Jason Moran/Chris Potter (Trio 3 in 1) at the Village Vanguard
- I saw a few different Motian groups this year - I enjoyed them all - this one was the best (my original review is here)

Eric Revis/Jason Moran/Ken Vandermark/Nahseet Waits at Jazz Gallery
- a hot group that I hope we haven't heard the last of (my original review is here and Mandatory Attendance has an embedded video here)

The Yayhoos at Mercury Lounge
- take what I said for #1 and substitute "Yayhoos" for "Bottle Rockets" - I once saw a double bill with these two bands - it was mighty fine

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