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Blogarrhea Best of 2016

By Mike Greenblatt m.greenblatt@classicalite.com on Dec 30, 2016 01:05 PM EST

It's been a rough year. Most of my friends are sticking up their middle finger to 2016, as am I. I can only wonder which heroes of mine will bite the dust in 2017...but that's for another Blogarrhea. The following annual all-list blog is not supposed to represent the most important or the best-selling or even the most accomplished CDs of 2016. I have done nothing my entire life but listen to music and tell people about it. So these are the ones I got the most excited about. Before the lists commence, please note that Leonard Cohen's You Want It Darker (Columbia) and Paul Simon's Stranger To Stranger (Concord) are my two favorite CDs of 2016. That said, on with the show.

2016 Top 30 Jazz CDs

1) Jack DeJohnette/Ravi Coltrane/Matthew Garrison, In Movement (ECM)

2) Matthew Hartnett, Southern Comfort (self-released)

3) Hiromi, Spark (Telarc)

4) Jackknife, The Music Of Jackie McLean (Primary Records)

5) Chico Freeman 4-Tet, Spoken Into Existence (Jive Music)

6) Carla Bley/Andy Sheppard/Steve Swallow, Andando el Tiempo (ECM)

7) Ilhan Ersahin's Istanbul Sessions, Istanbul Underground (Nublu Records)

8) Naftule's Dream, Blood (self-released)

9) Reggie Watkins, Avid Admirer: The Jimmy Knepper Project (BYNK Records)

10) Michael Davis, Hip-Bone Big Band (Hip-Bone Music)

11) John Beasley, Presents Monk'estra Volume #1 (Mack Avenue Records)

12) Michael Gamble and the Rhythm Serenaders, self-titled (Organic Records)

13) Jim Snidero, MD66 (Savant)

14) Shirantha Beddage, Momentum (Self-Released)

15) The Cookers, The Call of the Wild and Peaceful Heart (Smoke Sessions Records)

16) Mark Wingfield, Proof Of Light (MoonJune Records)

17) Quinsin Nachoff, Flux (Mythology Records)

18) Ehud Asherie, Shuffle Along: Solo Piano Interpretations from Balek and Sissle's 1921 Broadway Musical (Blue Heron Records)

19) WorldService Project, For King & Country (RareNoise Records)

20) Bernie Mora & Tangent, Transformation (Rhombus Records)

21) MarchFourth, The Magic Number (self-released)

22) Van Morrison, Keep Me Singing (Caroline)

23) Corey Henry, Lapeitah (Louisiana Red Hot)

24) Kenny Garrett, Do Your Dance (Mack Avenue)

25) Vasil Hadzimanov Band featuring David Binney, Alive (MoonJune)

26) Steve Turre, Colors For The Masters ((Smoke Sessions)

27) Will Calhoun, Celebrating Elvin Jones (Motema)

28) Arturo O'Farrill Sextet, Boss Level (Zoho)

29) Nolatet, Dogs (Royal Potato Family)

30) Michael Formanek's Ensemble Kolossus, The Distance (ECM)

(Photo : courtesy Thirty Tigers)
Every CD Carlos Santana makes is amongst the best of the year, 'Santana IV' is THE best rock CD of 2016.

2016 Top 10 Rock CDs

1) Santana, Santana IV (Thirty Tigers)

2) David Bowie, Blackstar (ISO)

3) Graham Nash, This Path Tonight (Blue Castle)

4) New Orleans Suspects, Kaleidoscoped (Louisiana Red Hot)

5) Doyle Bramhall II, Rich Man (Concord)

6) Tedeschi-Triucks Band, Let Me Get By (Fantasy)

7) Linda Gail Lewis, Hard Rockin Woman (Lanark)

8) Dion, New York Is My Home (Instant)

9) The Claypool/Lennon Delirium, Monolith Of Phobos (ATO)

10) Alexandro Escovedo, Burn Something Beautiful (Fantasy)

2016 Top 10 Blues CDs

1) Rolling Stones, Blue & Lonesome (Interscope)

2) Various Artists, God Don't Ever Change: The Songs Of Blind Willie Johnson (Alligator)

3) Various Artists, Bluesin' By The Bayou: Raw Blues Gems from the Swamps of South Louisiana + A Touch of Zydeco (Ace)

4) Duke Robillard, Blues Full Circle (Stony Plain)

5) Joe Bonamassa, Blues of Depression (J&R Adventures)

6) Little Boys Blue, Tennissippi (Jaxon Records)

7) Al Lerman, Slow Burn (self-released)

8) The Kat Kings, Swingin' In The Swamp (self-released)

9) Colin James, Blue Highways (True North)

10) Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne, Jumpin' & Boppin' (Stony Plain)

2016 Top 10 Jazz Vocalese CDs

1) Svetlana & The Delancey Five, Night At The Speakeasy (Origin/OA2)

2) Cyrille Amie, Let's Get Lost (Mack Avenue)

3) Norah Jones, Day Breaks (Blue Note)

4) Miss Sophie Lee and the Parish Suites, Traverse The Universe (self-released)

5) The Vaudevillian, Bringing Satan Down (Busted Flat Records)

6) Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches, Very Next Thing (On The Bol Records)

7) Sundae + Mr. Goessl, Makes My Heart Sway (self-released)

8) Branford Marsalis and Kurt Elling, Upward Spiral (Okeh)

9) June Garber, This I Know (self-released)

10) LaVon Hardison, Come Together (self-released)

(Photo : courtesy of Oh Boy Records)
When is National Treasure John Prine going to win a Kennedy Center Honor?

2016 Top 10 Americana CDs

1) John Prine, For Better Or Worse (Oh Boy)

3) Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle, Colvin & Earle (Fantasy)

4) Bonnie Raitt, Dig In Deep (Redwing)

4) Willie Nelson, For The Good Times: A Tribute To Ray Price (Legacy)

5) Various Artists, Feel Like Goin' Home: The Songs Of Charlie Rich (Memphis International)

6) Willie Nelson, Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin (Legacy)

7) Various Artists, Dear Jerry: Celebrating The Music Of Jerry Garcia (Rounder)

8) Giulia Millanta, Moonbeam Parade (Ugly Cat)

9) Travis Green, A Little Too Late (self-released)

10) Ivas John, Good Days A'Comin' (Right Side Up)

2016 Top 10 Boxed Sets

1) Kris Kristofferson, The Complete Monument & Columbia Albums Collection (Legacy)

2) Lou Reed, The RCA & Arista Album Collection (Legacy)

3) NRBQ, High Noon: A 50-Year Retrospective (Omnivore)

4) Keith Jarrett, A Multitude Of Angels (ECm)

5) Pink Floyd, The Early Years (Legacy)

6) Rolling Stones, In Mono (ABKCO)

7) Elvis Presley, The Album Collection (Legacy)

8) Bob Dylan, The 1966 Live Recordings (Legacy)

9) Paul McCartney, Pure McCartney (Concord)

10) Otis Redding, Live At The Whiskey A Go Go: The Complete Recordings (Volt)

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TagsJack DeJohnette, Blogarrhea, Santana, The Rolling Stones