Sunday, December 23, 2012

Four on The Floor - The Best of 2012

Well it's come to that time of the year and it seems like everybody and their dog is coming out with their top "whatever" lists of the past year.  So here's my Four on the Floor "Best of 2012" list:

- I don't really consider myself a Jazz "critic" per say as I'm not completely up on absolutely everything that's currently being released in a given year. It's not that I don't like new music or that I don't check it out, it's just that I don't actively seek out music just because it's new (also, I don't have the luxury of record companies sending me music on a weekly basis!) Besides, I'm still trying to catch up with the older stuff! So I'll leave the "Best Albums" of the year to the other fine Jazz bloggers out there.

However, I will say this, my best find of 2012 would have to be the Jim Hall Live! re-issues from 1975 featuring Hall with Don Thompson and Terry Clarke.

Apparently guitarists have regarded the original album in very high esteem (one friend even referred to them as the "Plugged Nickel" for guitarists!) and a whole bunch of material was recently re-released via Artist Share. It's awesome. Check it out.

For what it's worth, this is my pick for "Album of the Year" (still a re-issue, mind you!)

In terms of more recent releases, two albums that really stood out to me were:

Ulysses Owens Jr. "Unanimous"

Johnathan Blake "The Eleventh Hour"

- Speaking of "Best Albums of the Year", I was thrilled to learn that my new album "Sunalta" was recently included in Peter Hum's picks for Top 5 Canadian Jazz albums of 2012:

My latest album was released on the Cellar Live label last May. I'm very pleased with the results and please consider purchasing it so I can save my money to make another one!

- By this time next year I will likely have reached just over 1000 posts on Four on The Floor. However, many of the links I've posted ( videos, etc.) have gone extinct! If you happen to be browsing older posts of mine and you find the content to be inactive, please let me know so I can edit them accordingly.

- Speaking of videos, here's a collection of clips that I posted and inspired me the most over the last year:

Johnathan Blake with Kenny Barron

Michael Carvin with Freddie Hubbard

Kendrick Scott with Terence Blanchard

Kendrick Scott with Terence Blanchard in Ferrara, Italy from Kendrick Scott on Vimeo.

Lewis Nash and Bobby Hutcherson

Ali Jackson Jr. with Joshua Redman

Bobby Hutcherson and Harold Land

- I must admit that I've been very lax in terms of posting any drum lessons over the past year. They take some time to properly put together, however I do have a bunch of great ideas in the works that I will share with you in the year to come, hopefully on a more consistent basis. Thanks to all of you who write me with such positive comments with regards to the lessons I've posted already.

In the meantime check out Todd Bishop's fine blog Cruise Ship Drummer as he always has great things to practice there:

- Speaking of drum lessons, I was very fortunate to spend some quality time studying with the likes of Joe LaBarbera, Adam Nussbaum, Dave Mancini and vibraphonist Allan Molnar over the course of the past year. They are all great educators and I definitely have no lack of things to practice and think about in the year to come!

- Do you live in Calgary? Do you like food? Here's my picks for 2012:

Best Breakfast - Dairy Lane

(with special mention to Edmonton's "New York Bagel Cafe")

Best Italian - Borgo

Best Burger - Boogie's Burgers, Five Guys and Smash Burger (a three way tie!)

Best Bar-b-que - Holy Smoke!

Best Pizza - Pimento's

Best Coffee - Deville (corner of Centre Street and 7th Avenue SW)

Best Steak House - Vintage Chophouse

Best Montreal Smoked Meat - Myhre's Deli (aka The Palace of Eats)

Thank you all for your continued support. Blogging will resume early next year. It's time for a break. Drive safe and see you in 2013!

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely collection of inspiring stuff especially the Johnathan Blake