Tuesday, December 15, 2020

The 2020 Large Ensemble Edition of "Here Are a Few of My Favorite Disks":

 As I write this post, yesterday (December 14) marked the beginning of the 12th year of "Step Tempest."  This is post #1004 (that's a lot of albums although in the first five-six years, I write columns about live music in my home state of Connecticut)––I've slowed down over the past few years due to teaching and family responsibilities but I remain excited about Black Creative Music and its myriad creators as well as performers.  

Each year, I have created a "Best of..." list which usually numbers in the 40s (hey, I hear a lot of good music) and 2020, despite its various challenges, has produced a plethora of outstanding. Instead of posting one giant list this year, I have broken it down to two editions.  Mostly because 30% of my final list consists of large ensemble albums (minimum of eight members) and that's the most of any year since I began creating a list for CADENCE Magazine in the 1980s. Therefore, they get a column to themselves.


(In no particular order:

Felipe Salles Interconnections Ensemble – "The New Immigrant Experience: Music Inspired by Conversations with Dreamers" (Tapestry Records)

Brian Asher's Skrontch Music - "(Self-titled)" (Sinking City Music) 

Luciana Souza w/ the WDR Big Band Köln, Vince Mendoza arranger & conductor - "Storytellers" - (Sunnyside Records)

Maria Schneider Orchestra - "Data Lords" (ArtistShare)

No video available but here's a link to the album's home page:\

Gregg August – "Dialogues on Race, Vol. 1" (Self-released)

Orrin Evans & The Captain Black Band – "The Intangible Between" (SmokeSessions)

Daniel Hersog Jazz Orchestra – "Night Devoid of Stars" (Cellar Live Records)

Arturo O'Farrill/ Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra - "The Four Questions" (ZOHO Records)

Joel Harrison +18 – "America at War" (Sunnyside Records)

Mike Fahie Jazz Orchestra – "Urban(e)" (Greenleaf Music)

The Webber/Morris Big Band – "Both Are True" (Greenleaf Music)

Somi w/ The Frankfurt Radio Big Band (hR Big Band),  John Beasley arranger & conductor – "Holy Room: Live at The Oper" (Salon Africana)

John Hollenbeck w/ The Frankfurt Radio Band – "Songs You Like a Lot" (Flexatonic Records)

the awakening orchestra, Kyle Saulnier composer, arranger, & conductor - "vol ii: to call her to a higher plain" (Biophilia Records) 

The NDR Big Band w/ Michael Moore – "Sanctuary" (Ramboy Records)

No video available – here's a link to the title track:

Marius Neset w/ the Danish Radio Big Band, Miho Hazama conductor – "Tributes" (ACT Records)

1 comment:

  1. Quite a list Richard, a few I haven’t had the chance to hear, but will check out and I’m sure enjoy. Have a great holiday.