Jamendo picks: The best thus far

Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.

I have a week left, and so I have to thin things down to make sure it will all fit on the plane. I’m also trimming out a lot of the music I’ve downloaded, so I can fit it neatly on a USB drive. Here are a few of the candidates from the short list — stuff I’m definitely keeping, rather than redownloading at a later date (provided that I can πŸ˜€ ).

First, some of the best acid jazz/nu jazz I’ve heard in years — possibly since the genre won its own name. Smooth, sharp and engaging — so good that it could be on professional acid jazz collections, if it wasn’t free. These were some of the first albums I downloaded from Jamendo, and from there, the standard was set.

It amazes me that the stuff is free. As soon as I get my move finished and my finances set, I’m definitely donating. I’d buy a pressed CD, if I could find them for sale somewhere. And that’s saying a lot, coming from someone who swore a decade ago: “I’ll never buy another audio CD again!” Never say never, friends.

Similarly, these are two albums I just won’t live without now. The first time I listened to them, I stopped and moved on to something else. That’s nice, I thought, but not for me. But the second time … I was hopelessly addicted.

Professional sounds, excellent compositions and a presence that keeps you coming back. Songs like “Our Lives Change” and the triple-threat of “Alone,” “Listen” and “You are God” are absolutely brilliant. Is it pop? Is it jazz? Is it electronica? I don’t know, but I can’t put it down now. You’ll pry it from my cold, dead … ears? πŸ˜•

Here’s another one that keeps me coming back.

More avant-garde this time, but with an experimental and unpredictable direction that is raucous fun. I’ve showcased this one on the sidebar before, but it’s one that I keep listening to again and again, because it’s fun and funky. If I have behaved, I reward myself with a listen. Download it. You’ll want it.

Here are two that aren’t jazz, unless your definition is exceedingly loose. One is very bluesy, and one is something blues-ish, rock-ish, pop-ish and jazz-ish all at once. Fun stuff, which is critical to me.

Both are perpetual favorites on my machine. I usually serve up both in quick succession, along with Stan-X‘s eponymous album, because they all seem to work together. But I have a feeling that’s because I downloaded them all at the same time, so they sound right that way.

Finally, there are plenty of pianists to pick from on Jamendo; but I’m going to point you at this one.

Excellent performance, clear sound, creative and original. The artist digresses enough to avoid becoming just another piano album you picked up in the mall while shopping for Mother’s Day cards. You do know that Sunday is Mother’s Day in the U.S., don’t you? 😯 No problem. Download the Ehma collection, burn it to CDs and presto! Happy Mother’s Day! You solved the crisis. πŸ˜€

Now fire up rtorrent and start downloading!


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