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Jane Ira Bloom: Sixteen Sunsets makes 'Notes On Jazz' Best of 2013 list

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From: Ralph A. Miriello - This year was a particularly fertile year for new, contemporary music by young composers. If the music has to be categorized at all it probably falls into that all encompassing genre we call " jazz.," a label that many consider too limiting. It was also a year when some of the more seasoned players brought their "A" game to the studio with predictably satisfying results.

I personally have an affinity for a good melody,  good rhythm and lyricism and yet sometimes good music may lack an identifiable melody or contain rhythmic diversity that is so complex that it can only be  savored by a mathematically attuned brain. Music can be so arrhythmic as to cause  the internal rhythms of our bodies to react as if we are mainlining adrenaline. Some music is so atonal and dissonant that it can strain credibility with the listener, mimicking purposeful cacophony, but yet bringing with it a sense of expression, creativity  and occasionally a  sense of majesty. Acknowledging that it is all part of artistic expression, not everyone will find all the choices to be to their liking, but one thing is for sure they are all worthy of consideration. To paraphrase Duke Ellington's famous tome there are just two kinds of music, good music and the other kind. I believe these selections all fall into the good category. So go out and listen and support these talented artists.

With that in mind I offer my picks for the best of Jazz's New Music in  2013. My apologies to those fine offerings that I didn't have a chance to listen to this year and are necessarily excluded from my list.