Music 2010 and before

Posted By on December 30, 2010

I didn’t want the year to end without mentioning the Horse Flies, an upstate New York band I’ve been following for 20 years. The band played at Beachland Ballroom Dec. 17 and generated a gang of encores. They worked through material from “Until the Ocean,” their latest album, and they’re beginning to focus on a follow-up. Don’t miss them if they come anywhere near you. A great, string-based band whose show I previewed, the gig led to lots of ecstatic dancing, including mine. Too bad “Until the Ocean” was released in 2008; it was one of the best albums I heard in 2010.

Which brings me to my top 10 lists. I wrote one for PazznJop, the annual Village Voice poll of 1,500 critics; it focuses on pop and will join 1,499 others in the Jan. 19 issue. I wrote the other, exclusively on jazz CDs, for Jazz Times, the monthly magazine I contribute to.

PazznJop was tougher. I’m of a generation out of step with a lot of current pop, so I suspect my list reads dated. Jazz is easier, now that I’m in the current of jazz recordings. Anyhow, I’m sharing:

For the Voice:
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Mojo, Reprise
The National, High Violet, 4AD
The Deadbeat Poets, Circustown, Pop Detective
Tom Jones, Praise & Blame, Island
Roky Erickson, True Love Cast out All Evil, Anti
Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Good Music
Dan Auerbach, Keep It Hid, Nonesuch
Bettye Lavette, Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook, Anti
Taylor Swift, Speak Now, Big Machine
Eminem, Recovery, Aftermath/Interscope

For Jazz Times:
Sarah Manning, Dandelion Clock, Posi-Tone
Rudresh Mahanthappa & Bunky Green, Apex, Pi
Dave Morgan, Way of the Sly Man, Being Time
Danilo Perez, Providencia, Mack Avenue
Nik Baertsch’s Ronin, Llyria, ECM
Metropole Orkest/John Scofield/Vince Mendoza, 54, Emarcy
The Nels Cline Singers, Initiate, Cryptogramophone
Stephan Crump With Rosetta Trio, Reclamation, Sunnyside
Charles Lloyd Quartet, Mirror, ECM
Cassandra Wilson, Silver Pony, Blue Note


Leave a Reply

About the author

I'm a veteran critic and business writer who reads and listens and writes about music, books, hotels and travel. I've been in the business for many years and still enjoy it. My pride and joy is my book, Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories. Follow me on Twitter: