Thursday, December 10, 2009

Best of 2009, Part 2: Historical Releases and Compilations

The Best of Bill Frisell, Vol. 1: Folk Songs (Nonesuch, 2009) This is a very good introduction to the work of Bill Frisell for people who enjoy traditional Americana music or are coming to his music for the first time after hearing him in a soundtrack or on the radio.

Muddy Waters - Authorized Bootleg (MCA/Chess, 2009) This disc compares favorably with the live Muddy classics like Live at Newport and Muddy "Mississippi" Waters Live, and is a must hear for anybody who loves deep down in the alley Chicago blues.

Don Cherry - Live at the Cafe Montmartre 1966, Vol. 3 (ESP, 2009) The group takes an interesting approach to performing, instead of using disparate songs, the group uses themes and melodies as a jumping off point for a continuous improvisation.

John Coltrane - Side Steps (Concord, 2009) When he entered into this brief period he was scuffling both musically and personally, but due to hard work and perseverance, less than three years leader he emerged as a bold, confident man and musician poised to make his mark.

E.S.T. - Retrospective (ACT Music, 2009) Their pithy compositions and thoughtful and exciting improvising made a definite mark during their brief time together.

Richard Thompson - Walking on a Wire (Shout Factory, 2009) The music here is uniformly excellent and certainly makes a convincing case that Thompson has been one of the most consistently creative musicians in either folk music or rock 'n' roll over the past 40 years.

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