Best of 2014

31. 12. 2014 | Rubriky: Articles,Best of Year,Feature

[by Ken Hunt, London] Like some old fart’s misbegotten mantra, I typically say that the year started slow. Happens year after year after year after blooming year. For 2014 that applied particularly in terms of live performances. In the annual polls to which I contribute I am fully aware that what my bread-and-butter music diet will rarely register in anything anywhere apart from here.

To explain, as part of the whittling process, long-list ‘holding entries’ from the spring were largely gone by the summer and autumn. The summer festival season brought discoveries, consolidations and further winnowings. It is no coincidence that live performances numerically balance the recorded music entries. When all was done and dusted, it was live events – concerts and suchlike – that made 2014 so special.

New releases

9Bach / Tincian / Real World
Sam Amidon / Lily-O / Nonesuch
Olga Bell / Krai / One Little Indian
The Bevvy Sisters / Plan B / Interrupto Music
Iva Bittová / Entwine/Proplétám / Pavian
Country Joe Band / Entertainment Is My Business / Secret Records
Jackson Browne / Standing In The Breach / Inside Recordings
Martin & Eliza Carthy / The Moral of the Elephant / Topic
The Furrow Collective / At Our Next Meeting / Furrow Records
Bonnie Dobson / Take Me For A Walk In The Morning Dew / Hornbeam
Kronos Quartet / A Thousand Thoughts / Nonesuch
Sam Lee & Friends / More For To Rise EP / The Nest Collective
Thomas McCarthy / Herself and Myself / ITCD
Amira Medunjanin / Silk & Stone / World Village
Nachthexen [Scarlett O’, Dunja Averdung, Jürgen Ehle & Jörg Nassler] / Nachthexen / electrocadero
Nishtiman / Kurdistan – Nishtiman / Accords Croisés
Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters / lullaby and… THE CEASELESS ROAR / Nonesuch Records
Oysterband / Diamonds On The Water / Navigator
Peggy Seeger / Everything Changes / Signet Music
Kavita Shah / Visions / Naïve
Tiburtina Ensemble & David Dorůžka Trio / Apokalypsis / Animal Music
Wilson & Swarbrick / Lion Rampart / Shirty

Historic releases, reissues and anthologies

CSNY 1974 / CSNY/ Rhino
Ron and Bob Copper / Traditional Songs from Rottingdean

/ Fledg’ling
Grateful Dead / Wake Up To Find OutNassau Coliseum concert in Uniondale, NY3/29/90 / Grateful Dead Productions
Ravi Shankar / A Night At St. John the Divine / East Meets West
Various artists / The Flax In Bloom / Topic
Various artists / Magic Kamancheh / No Ethno
Various artists / OrkneyTraditional Dance Music from Orkney / Topic
Various artists / Songs of the Spanish Civil War / Smithsonian Folkways
Various artists / TFF Rudolstadt 2014 / heideck

Events of 2014

Kronos Quartet with Bryce Dessler, Jarvis Cocker and David Coulter and Mariana Sadovska (Chernobyl. The Harvest) / Barbican Hall, London / 13 May 2014
Explorations: The Sound of Nonesuch RecordsSession Four – Iarla O’Lionáird and The Crash Ensemble; Kronos Quartet featuring Rhiannon Giddens, Olivia Chaney, Sam Amidon and Natalie Merchant / Milton Court, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London / 18 May 2014
Sam Lee & Friends / Queen Elizabeth Hall, London / 29 May 2014
Kiran Ahluwalia / The Jazzcafe Camden, London / 6 July 2014
Marta Topferová & Tomáš Liška’s Milokraj / Crossroads, Ostrava, Czech Republic / 17 July 2014
Lo Còr De La Plana / Colours of Ostrava, Ostrava / 18 July 2014
Vé Zou Via / Colours of Ostrava, Ostrava / 19 July 2014
9Bach / Colours of Ostrava, Ostrava / 19 July 2014
Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters / Colours of Ostrava, Ostrava / 19 July 2014
Nishtiman / Glatt & Verkehrt, Krems an der Donau, Austria / 27 July 2014
This Is Not Black (Ceci n’est pas Noire) – Alesandra Seutin featuring Ayanna Witter-Johnson / Purcell Room, London / 12 September 2014
A Time and Place: Musical Meditations on the First World War – featuring The Unthanks, Sam Lee and others / Barbican Hall, London / 18 September 2014
Dhrupad and Shock of the New – Jyoti Hegde and Abhishek Raghuram / Darbar Festival / Purcell Room, London / 20 September 2014
Best Then, Better Now – Prabha Atre / Darbar Festival / Queen Elizabeth Hall, London / 21 September 2014
Zakir Hussain – Masters of Percussion / Barbican Hall, London / 18 October 2014
Harry Manx / Borderline, London / 30 October 2014
Vishwa Mohan Bhatt / Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, London / 8 November 2014
Jim Page and Dick Gaughan / TwickFolk, The Cabbage Patch, Twickenham / 9 November 2014
Kronos Quartet / Rudolfinum, Dvořákova síň [Dvorak Room], Prague / 13 November 2014

Five past music projects that returned to haunt

Kiran Ahluwalia / Aam Zameen: Common Ground / Kiran Music
Grateful Dead / Workingman’s Dead / Warner Brothers
Nic Jones / The Enigma of Nic Jones / Topic Records DVD
Chris Wood / Trespasser / RUF Records
Various / Lovely In The Dances / Osmosys Records

This year’s street art is from Prague, should you be wandering the pedestrian alleyways in the vicinity of Řetězová, Prague 1. This cannabis love token image is © Ken Hunt/Swing 51 Archives.

The image to the right of Events of 2014 is of L-R Jiři Plocek, Ben Mandelson and Grit Friedrich taken on our visit to to visit the extraordinary instrument maker Vít Kašpařík in Velké Karlovice in the Carpathians. The Assurd – Enza Pagliara female contingent of Vé Zou Via shot is from Colours of Ostrava. Both are © Ken Hunt/Swing 51 Archives.

The image of Kiran Ahluwalia at The Jazzcafe Camden, London is © Santosh Hunt/Swing 51 Archives.

Otherwise the images are © their image-makers, photographers and designers.

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