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.
Guitarists Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin had already headlined the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland numerous times with their own bands but in 2011, in their only show together provided a mystical, magical, profound, spiritual and loud experience. Going into their jazz-rock fusion handbook, they performed majestically, switching leads, switching genres and cheering on their own wildly percussive band (including wife Cindy Blackman of Santana, a powerhouse drummer). Now, for the first time on CD (you can also get it digitally and on DVD or Blu-Ray), Santana & McLaughlin are 'Live At Montreux 2011' on their "Invitation To Illumination" tour (Eagle Rock Entertainment).
Let's change gears for a second. In fact, let's hop on another train and take it further south, from the Big Apple to Music City, Tenn. Yes, I am speaking of none other than the heel-toe clicking Nashville--city of lights, dreams and music.
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival just released its 2014 lineup--you *know* you want it!