This has been another great year for music, if not for musicians. It's always hard (as well as probably pointless) to compile a top ten list of albums and this year it's as hard as ever. If I'd compiled a 'most listened' list it would quite different though. That's mostly because musicians I love kept dying and I wanted to remind myself of their work.
The biggest surprise was that my most listened to albums were by, to all intents and purposes, a cover band. But what an amazing cover band. The Security Project play, mostly, the early material of Peter Gabriel and they do it magnificently. Once you get past the question of why they are doing it, their two live albums are a treat for the ears. As a long time fan of Trey Gunn’s work on the touch guitar I was delighted.
The other great surprise was Neil Cowley’s Spacebound Apes. A concept album by a jazz trio who aren’t a jazz trio. Anyway, here, with links and in no sensible order, is my list.
Spacebound Apes – Neil Cowley Trio
In Movement – Jack DeJonette, Ravi Coltrane, Matthew Garrison
Live 1 & Live 2 – The Security Project
Beyond Now – Donny McCaslin
Fool of Music – Markus Reuter
Blackstar – David Bowie
Charentsavan – Arsen Petrosyan
Continuum – Nik Bartsch’s Mobile
Diwan of Beautyand Odd – Dhafer Youssef
Emily’s D+ Evolution – Esperanza Spalding
Event Horizon – Mark Wade Trio
Frequent FlyerLive – Lorenzo Feliciati
How Near How Far – Etienne Mbappe
Into the Silence – Avishai Cohen
The Magical Forest – Sinikka Langeland
Near LifeExperience – Scott Kinsey
Prog Noir – Stickmen
Radical Action to Unseat the Hold of Monkey Mind – King Crimson
and EP2 by New Accelerator