Top Five for 2005

The year's coming to an end, what's your top five finds for 2005?

New or old releases.

All recommendations are welcome.

Here's my five:

Mulgrew Miller- Live at Yoshi's Vol.2
Branford Marsalis- Eternal
Frank Jackson- New York after Dark
Marian McPartland - 85 Candles
Stryker/Slagle Band - Live at the Jazz Standards

Happy Holidays.
The following would be my list for the top five releases for 2005: 1) Kenny Barron's two albums recorded live at Bradley's 2) Monk and Coltrane at Carnegie Hall 3) The Complete Norman Granz Jam Sessions box set 4) Scott Hamilton with the Bill Charlap trio- Back to New York 5) Verve Reissue of Peggy Lee's Black Coffee
Good post Kana, I usually find some good stuff from these threads each year. My list:
1. Mark Knopfler - "Shangri-La"
2. Kelly Joe Phelps - "Shine Eyed Mister Zen"
3. Amos Lee - (Self titled)
4. Jackson Browne - "Solo Acoustic Vol.1"
5. Sara Gazarek - "Yours"
Kicker: Jack Johnson - "In Between Dreams"
Drat... again there are too many to pick from -(it's horrible!). Here's a flimsy, not really airtight way of getting around the low numerical restriction:
-Mogwai/Government Commissions -(Pocupine Tree, Tortoise and Floyd fans check this one out).

-Sweeter Than The Day/Live at the Rendezvous -(2cd, usually priced about the same as a single. Wayne Horvitz and band are great as usual, way better sound than most live discs).

-Normand Guilbeault Ensemble/Mingus Erectus -(As if Mingus lovers didn't already have enough to be grateful for. The Actuell/Ambience Magnetiques label is just incredibly good).

-Enrico Rava/Full of Life -(Probably one of Rava's best, which means it's %$$#@!!! great. The 3 standards on it are nowhere near being stale, they really don't drag things down at all).

The Claudia Quintet/Semi-Formal -(Praise all dieties!! Uncle Meat is not dead. This is gorgeous, we're seriously lucky to have this stuff around).

-Denman Maroney-Mark Dresser/Time Changes -(A few of the tracks have female vocals on em' and it kinda bugs me, but large chunks of the disc are like the audio eqivalent of amazingly well recorded analytical cubism. If you dig this disc, get Denman Maroney's Fluxation).

-Crater -(There's probably not much you can get from mescaline or peyote that's not already on this disc. This is gonna be edited alot better too in most cases. If you're into Can or some of the more twisted King Crimson, snag this).

-Gerry Hemingway Quartet/The Whimbler -(When you see a disc w/ Herb Robertson, Ellery Eskelin, Mark Helias and Gerry Hemingway there's plenty of reason to have super high expectations. This is among the finest progeny of records like Ornette's "Art Of Improvisers". The recording quality is excellent. It's kind of sad that guys like Dolphy never got to make records that sounded like this).

-The Vandermark 5/The Color Of Memory -(Vandermark smacks another one out of the park! He's easily one of the richest veins in modern music, calling it inside or outside is kind of dumb and the superfine recording quality is just icing).

-Bar Kokhba Sextet -(This is a 3cd set w/Marc Ribot, Mark Feldman, Erik Friedlander, Greg Cohen, Joey Baron and Cyro Baptista with John Zorn conducting. This one avoids falling into a klezmer rut. Percussively it stays pretty interesting and Ribot's guitar is just beautifully nasty in a lot of key places. Also The sometimes nasal or whining tone of alto sax is completely absent. This one really isn't any more outside than the first five either).
Here are my five in no paticular order, with an alternate thrown in for good measure.

1.Tord Gustavsen Trio - Changing Places
2.Charles Lloyd - Lift Every Voice
3.Houston Person - To Etta with Love
4.Nicholas Payton - Payton's Place
5.Joe Henderson - The State Of The Tenor
Alt. The Bill Evans Trio featuring Stan Getz - but beautiful
My Top Five are as follows:

Bright Eyes - "It's Morning, I'm Wide Awake"
Mark Knopfler - "Shangri-La"
Ryan Adams - "Cold Roses"
Kathleen Edwards - "Back to Me"
Bob Mould - "Body of Song"
Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez, "Red Dog Tracks"
John Prine, "Fair & Square"
Ryan Adams, "Jacksonville City Nites"
Vic Chesnutt, "Ghetto Bells"
Bill Frisell, "East West"
John Hiatt "Master of Disaster"
Boz Scaggs "Fade Into Light"
Jackson Browne "Running on Empty" DVD-Audio
Bruce Springsteen "Devils and Dust"
Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter "Oh My Girl"
This list is for all of those who say "They just don't make good music anymore. I just pull out my Foghat cd and I'm good."
***The Decemberists-Picaresque(Kill Rock Stars-LP)***Without a doubt the best album of the year!
*****----->rest in no order-all 2005 recordings with the exception of the Nuggets boxset<-----*****
Sufjan Stevens-Come On Feel The Illinoise(Asthmatic Kitty Records-LP)
Daniel Lanois-Belladonna(Anti, Inc./Epitaph-LP)
Colleen-The Golden Morning Breaks(Leaf-LP)
Julien Neto-Le Fumeur De Ciel(Type Recordings-CD)
Marsen Jules-Herbstlaub(City Centre Offices-CD)
Deaf Center-Pale Ravine(Type Recordings-CD)
Iron And Wine-Woman King(Sub Pop-CD)
Luke Vibert-Lover's Acid(Planet Mu-CD)
The New Pornographers-Twin Cinema(Matador-CD)
Wolf Parade-Apologies To The Queen Mary(Sub Pop-CD)
The Orb-Okie Dokie It's The Orb On Kompakt(Kompakt-CD)
Matt Sweeney & Bonnie 'Prince' Billy-Superwolf(Palace Records/Drag City-CD)
Calexico & Iron And Wine-In The Reins(Overcoat Recordings-CD)
LCD Soundsystem-LCD Soundsystem(DFA-CD)
Broken Social Scene-Broken Social Scene(Factor-CD)
Boards Of Canada-The Campfire Headphase(Warp-CD)
Bell Orchestre-Recording A Tape The Colour Of Light(Rough Trade-CD)
Susumu Yokota-Symbol(Lo/Skintone Recordings-CD)
North American Hallowe'en Prevention Initiative-Do They Know It's Hallowe'en?(Vice/Connect-CD)
Various Artists-Children Of Nuggets(Rhino-CD Boxset)
Sleater-Kinney-The Woods(Sub Pop-CD)
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Howl
North Mississippi All-Stars - Electric Blue Watermelon
Neil Young - Prairie Wind
Ryan Adams - Cold Roses
My Morning Jacket - Z
To continue a common theme:

My favorite CD's of 2005 (no real order):

Sufjan Stevens: Come feel the Illinoise
Iron & Wine with Calexico: In the reins
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: S/T
Akron/Family with Angels of Light:
Animal Collective: Feels
Andrew Bird Mysterious production of eggs
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Howl
Bloc Party: Silent Alarm
Bright Eyes: I'm awake ...
Decemberists: Picaresque
Deerhoof: The runners four
Antony & The Johnsons: I am a bird now.
Devendra Banhart: Cripple Crow
Holopaw: Quit +/- Or Fight
Jens Lekman: Oh You're So Silent Jens
Martha Wainwright: S/T
The New Pornographers: Twin Cinema
Sigur Ros: Takk
Sleater-Kinney: The Woods
Spoon: Gimme Fiction
Super Furry Animals: Love Kraft
Vetiver: S/T
Clientele; Strange Geometry
Wolf Parade: Apologies to the Queen Mary
Architecture In Helsinki: IN case we die
Ryan Adams 29 (plus bits and pieces of his other 2 f' albums he released this year !!!)
My Morning Jacket ZZZZZ
Max Richter - The Blue Notebooks
Sigur Ros - Takk

yeah, just those two
Coast to Coast/ Red Holloway; A nice tight set from someone who just disappeared. Dr. Lonnie Smith comes along for the ride,alot of bangin goin on here.

I'm a Bluesman/ Johnny Winter; Nice to see Johnny back in the scene. Has some really nice blues on this offering.

R and G The Masterpiece/ Snoop Dogg; Whomever sequed this offering got the uninspired songs out of the way early and that includes the single "Drop it Like its Hot". After that there isn't a bad song on this CD, Snoops best since his debut Doggystyle.

Peter Green/ The Splinter Group; After finding Religion this master of the ax has been in and out of one Asylum after another. Here he comes back with a set featuring 2 studio songs and the rest a tight varied live set that is sure to please anyone who enjoys the blues. It's true Nigel Watson handles most of the guitar work but Greens vocals are what you'd expect from his journey through life; tortured, and his harp playing isn't bad either.

Love/ Love; Their debut album on Sundazed 180 gram vinyl sounds so good IMS. This bands early stuff is as good as anything The Kinks or The Who were churning out at this period of time.

My top 5 discoveries, in no order of preference;
Tord Gustavsen Trio - The Ground
Connie Evingson - Let It Be Jazz: Connie Evingson Sings the Beatles
Jim Tomlinson - Brazilian Sketches
Rad Katoneff - Fairytales
Jacqui Naylor - Live East/West: Birdland/Yoshi's
I'm posting a second time here, this time for my top 5 Jazz finds this year. Each one of these really shines on my system:
1. (Female Vocals): Dianne Reeves - "Good Night, and Good Luck"
2. (Smooth Jazz): Kirk Whalum - "Babyface Songbook"
3. (Jazz): Charles Lloyd - "The Water is Wide"
4. (Live): Mary Stallings - "Live at the Village Vanguard"
5. (Other): Steely Dan - "Gaucho" (sorry, it's a classic I rediscover each year)

1) The Hold Steady, "Separation Sunday"
2) Go-Betweens, "Ocean's Apart"
3) Sleater-Kinney, "The Woods"
4) Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall
5) Bob Mould, "Body of Song"
I thought 2005 was a slow year for new releases and ended up buying mostly older music. That said:

1 EELS - Blinking Lights. (Easily the best I heard this year.)
2 Richard Thompson - Front Parlour Ballads
3 Bright Eyes - Wide Awake
4 Brendan Benson - Alternative To Love
5 Fire Marshals of Bethlehem - Songs for Housework (The return of John Coslin, formerly of The Reivers)

Also: Bill LLoyd & Jamie Hoover, Bonnie Raitt, Green Day, U2, Bob Mould, White Stripes,John Legend, Jim Boggia, Jackson Browne
Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane- At Carnegie Hall

Richard Thompson- Front Parlour Ballads

John Hiatt- Master of Disaster

Antony and the Johnsons-I am a bird now

Lucinda Williams- Live at the Fillmore
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Howl
Foo Fighters: In Your Honor
Ryan Adams and the Cardinals: Cold Roses
Mike Doughty: Haughty Melodic
Social Distortion: Sex, Love, and Rock & Roll

Finally got a copy Kenny Barron's "Perfect Set" live at Bradley's. Great call. Thanks. - Dan
Chris Squire/Nardelli' Syndestructibles

Maia Sharp's Upstanding Citizen

Judith Owen's last release (cant remember the name)

Richard Thompson's Front Parlour Ballads (at least I bought it 2005)

I cant think of a 5th one.sorry
So, I can't keep it to five, but I (think I) can keep it to single digits:

Tord Gustavsen Trio, "The Ground"
Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane, "At Carnegie Hall"
Jackson Browne, "Solo Acoustic, vol. 1"
The Waifs, "A Brief History"
Alan Broadbent, "You and the Night and the Music"
Morphine, "The Night"
Cowboy Junkies, "Early 21st Century Blues"
Everything But The Girl, "Acoustic"
Kenny Barron Trio, "Perfect Set"
Patti Smith, "Trampin'"

Oops, so that's double digits. But just barely. I'm just not good at narrowing these things down. And yes, I do have eclectic taste. Why do you ask? :-)

Happy Listening
I buy about 10 CD/SACDs per month I guess, but a majority was released prior to 2005, I think...and at times I get a bit confued what was orginally released working from memory for just 2005 in no particular order (& excluding SACDs as the original music has been available)

1. Tim Ries: The Rolling Stone Project: jazz interpretations of the Stones! With Charlie Watts, Bill Frisell, Norah Jones, John Scofield, Larry Golding, Sheryl Crow, Keith Richards, John Patitucci..simply amazing

2. Steve Kuhn: Trance: release of 1975 recording...has been out of print for years: jazz+ electronica before its time and current craze and done way better

3. Toto Bonka Lokua: spare instrumental backing a trio of amazing voices..great test record as well...almost acapella, african, carribean, even blues influences.

4. Oz Noy: Ha!: If you like SVR, Jimi Hendrix, etc, you'll like this

5. Joshua Redman: Momentum: finally gets his version of funk jazz right

6. Robert Plant and The Strange Sensation:Might Rearranger: vastly underrated, best solo effort in yrs.

7. Martin, Medeski & Wood: End of World Party: the best of jam band music and their own best album to date IMO

8. Jeff Parker: The Relatives: Jazz gtr by someone who was brought up on chill, hip-hop, experimental..well sounds like that way, angular solos are quite interesting..and has his own identity and thus uniquness as an artist..perfer to Tortoise in which he is band member

9. Bill Connors: Return: yes that one...from Chick Corea's Return To Forever...very well recorded and "fusion" done with a swing

Hey, I kept it to single digits!
I've copied and pasted my records of the year from mails sent to a mailing list I'm on.
Lugs the music review site I set up for Audiogon (see top of music section here) has been on a holding pattern this year but here's my views-they are angled for that mailing list so some of the comments are related to what others have said about the music.

It's in two sections.
It was a decent year for new music I thought with the trend continuing that artists made shorter albums, a good thing imho. In the interests of debate I've listed the countdown to my top ten, quite a few releases some Flies had in their ten and also some releases which I consider worth checking out. As Sharon pointed out it's a bit crazy to rate music this way but its part of the fun; quite a few towards the bottom of this list could have on another day made it into my top ten.

BECK-GUERO; Hispanic flashes but ultimately Beck by numbers, of course his numbers are Quantum Mechanics and there is no doubting the superb talent and construction. Sea Change showed his human side but the robot is back. Broken Drum is great though.

SUSUMO YOKOTA-SYMBOL- a large part of the history of Classical Music is sliced and reconstructed into something both new and familiar. A hit and miss affair.

RYAN ADAMS-JCN-Weakest of his trilogy and his most country but a few tracks are pure gold.

COLDPLAY-X&Y-I have to laugh the opening middle eight recalls Rush circa'82 and yet Flies and critics alike love this band. Hypocrisy alert. Second point is, a lot of this music is actually very good. Third point Chris Martin is easily the worst lyricist ever to become rock's bright new hero, his lyrics are so bad they are funny-surely worth a thread of its own.

VAN DER GRAFF GENERATOR-PRESENT-Lacks the colour and scope of their early work and seems a tad too restrained as if Hammil has been to Progaholics. It has flashes of their eccentric charm.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN-DEVILS AND DUST-Four great songs but sadly Bruce seems muddled lyrically (the title track is so clumsy, Reno such an obvious bore and others sub-par) and a little lost musically. Production irritates too.

EDITORS-THE BLACK ROOM-yup you can spot the influences a mile off but it has charm, lacks the overall variety to really nail it.

THE NATIONAL-ALLIGATOR-Decent record with some wonderful moments but I don't hear the lyrical and musical brilliance (the drummer needs shot) that many do. A tad overrated imho.

SUSUMO YOKOTA/ROTHKO-DISTANT SOUNDS OF SUMMER-Nice Electronica which suffers in parts from an inability to keep a mood but beautiful moments all the same.

BRIAN ENO-ANOTHER DAY ON EARTH-Electro-pop I suppose as Eno sounds strangely 80's on his first vocal album for ages. More than the sum of its parts, an enjoyable listen with excellent instrumentation as you would expect.

MARK EITZEL-CANDY ASS-One of his better experiments but does ultimately falls between two stools. A couple of classic songs and some good Electronica.

HAROLD BUDD-LA BELLE VISTA-Solo improvised piano from Lanois vaults-few things are better in life than a glass of red wine and Budd on the stereo. Lovely.
10. MARS VOLTA-FRANCES THE MUTE-stuff the concept and crap cover and marvel at the music; Zep, Miles Davis, Genesis et al smashed together in outrageously effective fashion. If it were shorter (triple vinyl!)it'd be higher up.

9. ROBERT PLANT-MIGHTY REARRANGER-The idea of an aging Rock "God" with muso tendencies could easily have went horribly wrong but old Percy nails a nice fusion of what he's good at and what he likes. He's been trying to do this his whole solo career-well done old guy.

8. RYAN ADAMS-COLD ROSES-Yes it needs edited but enough gems to sparkle as always. One day a fair amount of Adams dissenters will listen back and say "shit, we were wrong".

7. RYAN ADAMS-29-His least generic album of the year. Full of downbeat visions and haunted melodies that don't seem to go anywhere they should. His most personal lyrically and musically and continues to impress on each play. Not quite flawless but Elizabeth...could be my favourite song of the moment.

6. ARCADE FIRE-FUNERAL-Girvan it was released here this year therefore it's in. Controversial to some but enough kooky sparks and originality to satisfy. There's still something missing to my ears though.

5. NINE HORSES-SNOW BORNE SORROW-Another one that is still growing.Sylvian is in immaculate voice and the album has enough quality to escape the cliché that is dark lyrics fused with super smooth music, very impressive.

4. KATE BUSH-AERIAL-yes it is full of eccentric whimsy about artist turned housewife. Kate has managed to sound contemporary without damaging the core of her music. Its best moments are effortlessly brilliant and dreamy.

3. BOARDS OF CANADA-THE CAMPFIRE HEADPHASE-Their best record by a mile, consistently strong and musical.

2. SUFJAN STEVENS-ILLINOISE-It's already been said, the boy is something of a genius.

1. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM-LCD SOUNDSYSTEM-middle age and populist musical tastes means that you always need something with an edge and energy to keep up your credibility and of course this record both endorses and debunks that theory. The peaks of this crush most attempts at relevant energetic music and the influences fuse nicely.Kraftwerk, Can, The Beatles, PIL and Talking Heads haunt the grooves of this. Cool.
Ben, thanks for your fresh music suggestions. You reminded me of Robert Plant's release, which I had read about earlier in the the year and subsequently forgot, and I like what I've read about Sufjan Steven's "Illinoise", so I'm going to pick up those two.
I'd like to add one GREAT album I've been wearing out.

Phosphorescent-Aw Come Aw Wry
Hi ben...good to see someone agree w. me on Robert Plant! Also agree on Beck. Yeah and Arcadian Fire...something is missing....I think its passion
Henryhk I don't think it's passion with Arcade Fire it's more to do with then capturing their sound in the studio.

I saw them live on TV and there was a whole other dimension,and I know people who have seen them live think they are the real deal.

How right you are about the X&Y release. My first listen was great but listening closer, it just falls short..

I've enjoyed a number of the titles mentioned here, well done everyone. As far as a true "find" for me in 2005, I would certainly have to share Lizz Wright - 'Dreaming Wide Awake'. A friend turned me on to her and I was immediately reminded of my first listen to Cassandra Wilson's 'New Moon Daughter' release. Turns out they share the same producer, Craig Street. Anyhow, this gal deserves a listen - a very well done album with some great covers. Great recording as well on the Verve 'Forecast' label.
LCD Soundstream - I like it.
Good call.
And I'm 50+.
How 'bout James Carter's Out of Nowhere?

explode baby!- agf/vladislav delay.. a couple living in berlin.. one on drums one on laptop.. good lyrics and very interesting sound spaces.. very futuristic "pop" (yet all the while fairly experimental).. highly recommended for fans of experimental house/hiphop/breakbeat music/glitch/idm/ambient. it sort of has it all...

from a compound eye_robert pollard (guy mainly behind guided by voices)- a good "solo" continuation of his guided by voices works, but more raw and noisey at times.

guillontine- circle- latest from a phenominal group from pori, finland.. sort of psycho folk music (not american folk mind you.. think tribal (sami people- lapland))- their previous albums have all been psychadelic- spanning a wide genre gap. each one was different from metal to electronic to punkish to drone to sort of tweaky funk styled stuff.. certainly weird at times.. the singer sings in both finnish and some made up language. not that most of you could probably tell the difference anyways..

the notwist and themselves- 13 and god- experimental hiphop from a collection of guys from the anticon label including dose one who is in so many great groups it is hard to keep track


smile- brian wilson- .. although not as good as if it had been released in the way late 60s as originally intended it is still a great album and fantastic that he finally finished it after 30 years...
"How 'bout James Carter's Out of Nowhere?"

Lousyreeds1- excellent call, especially for jazz/blues
fans who've never heard baritone legend Hamiet Bluiett.
Tord Gustavsen- The Ground

Bill Evans- Waltz for Debbie SACD

John Coltrane Quartet- Ballads Deluxe Edition Remastered

Sam Cooke- At the Copa SACD

Leon Fleisher- Two Hands

Hilary Hahn and Natalie Zhu- Mozart Violin Sonatas

Dire Straits- Brothers in Arms SACD

Kristine Kane- Right Outta Nowhere...lives in Asheville trying to make it. Great songwriting

John Dean
Good call Kana813...thanks..never head of Stryker-Slage before and checked them out upon your recommendation...thanks!