Tag Archives: Makaya McCraven

Artist Reflections: Makaya McCraven on Artistic Community in 2018

artist-reflections-makaya-mccravenFor our “Artist Reflections” series, we asked artists responsible for some of the year’s best records to discuss a topic that’s been close to their hearts over the last 12 months. In this piece, Makaya McCraven discusses the ways that being part of a community can help to strengthen us and help us to grow.

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The Best Jazz Albums of 2018

best jazz 2018

Jazz was far from dead in 2018, but the usefulness of the word “jazz” is on life support. Over the last 12 months, the array of sounds contained on albums that could loosely be described as “jazz” was so vast, it practically rendered the term meaningless. That diversity is a sign of the scene’s strength; it reflects the visions of musicians who have been brought up in the jazz tradition, learning the languages and standards of the past to help them create the future. Almost across the board, the albums in this year’s list find inspiration in old compositions and composers, but give them new life in the sound and spirit of today.

View the Best Jazz on Bandcamp archives.

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The Best Albums of 2018: #20 – 1

best of 2018 20-1Let’s be honest for a second: No one clicks on these lists for the introduction. I don’t blame them! This is usually just the place where some routine throat-clearing goes, before we get to the main event. It’s also the place where I confess to the amount of anxiety involved with putting together a list like this—last year, I said, “Right now, there’s probably someone in their bedroom in Buenos Aires, making a record on their computer that is going to end up on next year’s list. So as comprehensive as we’ve tried to make this list, we realize that, even at 100 albums, we’re only scratching the surface of what’s available.” Guess what? That’s still true in 2018. That said, the albums that made the cut, to us, represent the breadth and scope of the many worlds available to discover on Bandcamp, and feel like the best musical summation of the last 12 months. When we make this list, we’re not only trying to assess the year’s best music, we’re also trying to tell the story of 2018, album by album, song by song. As always, being a part of Bandcamp Daily in 2018 was a true joy; we took a look at Extratone, the world’s fastest musical genre, got familiar with the New Face of Death Metal, and spent time with artists like Yugen Blakrok, Suzanne Ciani, and Kamaal Williams. Once again, the world of music is bigger than any one list can possibly contain, so consider this a starting point on the neverending journey to discovering new sounds, new scenes, and new voices. Alright, that’s enough throat-clearing. Let’s get to the list.

—J. Edward Keyes, Editorial Director

Best of 2018 Schedule:
December 10: #100 – 81
December 11: #80 – 61
December 12: #60 – 41
December 13: #40 – 21
December 14: #20 – 1

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The Best Jazz on Bandcamp: October 2018

Jazz

This is when it starts: The year is coming to a close, Best Of lists are beginning to take shape, and definitive statements on the year start to coalesce. And then, inevitably, a number of releases hit the shelves in December, and all plans developed to that point become irrelevant. This is not a complaint—but it does mean you have a lot of listening ahead of you.

View the Best Jazz on Bandcamp archives.

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This Week’s Essential Releases: Experimental, Hip-Hop, Folk and More

7 essential

Welcome to Seven Essential Releases, our weekly roundup of the best music on Bandcamp. Each week, we’ll recommend six new albums that were released between last Friday and this Friday, plus pick an older LP from the stacks that you may have missed.

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Artist of the Week: On “Universal Beings,” Makaya McCraven Broadens His Jazz Appeal

AOTW-MakayaMcCraven-1244The history of Chicago jazz can be divided into two eras: before and after the establishment of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). Founded in 1965 by artists Muhal Richard Abrams, Jodie Christian, Steve McCall, and Phil Cohran, the collective quickly set an identity for Chicago’s most ambitious musicians, fostering a home for multi-instrumentalists Anthony Braxton and Henry Threadgill, and The Art Ensemble of Chicago.

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Better Know a College Radio Station: Princeton University’s WPRB

college radio, wprb

For many obsessive fans who grew up in the pre-Internet era, their passion for music was sparked in the dingy basements and dark booths of college radio stations. Despite soundboards that are decades out of date and tastes that are rapidly changing, the collegiate airwaves tradition has endured. The best college stations remain dedicated to delivering music that falls outside the purview of Billboard-charting mainstream radio.

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Better Know a College Radio Station: University of Oregon’s KWVA

College Radio, KWVA

For many obsessive fans who grew up in the pre-Internet era, a passion for music was sparked in the dingy basements and dark booths of college radio stations. Despite sound boards that are decades out of date and tastes that are rapidly changing, the collegiate airwaves tradition has endured. The best college stations remain dedicated to delivering music that fall outside the purview of Billboard-charting mainstream radio. Continue reading