The Wicked Sound favorite / best Live albums of 2021:
01. The Daptone Super Soul Revue LIVE at the Apollo [Daptone]
Daptone celebrates 20 years of soulful music with the release of The Daptone Super Soul RevueLIVE at the Apollo. Performed and recorded over three nights in front of a sold-out crowd at The World Famous Theater in Harlem, NY (December 4th - 6th, 2014), this album brings the electrifying performances that helped put Daptone on the map directly to your living room! Featuring live sets from: Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaires, Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens, Antibalas, The Budos Band, Menahan Street Band, Saun & Starr, The Sugarman 3, as well as concert's em-cee, Binky Griptite. This album is lovingly dedicated to the memory of Sharon Jones, Charles Bradley, Naomi Shelton and Cliff Driver.
02. John Coltrane A Love Supreme Live in Seattle [Impulse]
John Coltrane released this year for the first time A Love Supreme Live in Seattle was recorded in Seattle’s Penthouse club in the fall of 1965, it is only the second full live performance recording known after one from the Festival Mondial du Jazz Antibes in France from 1965. The unknown tape was found in the archive of a local saxophonist, Joe Brazil, who recorded the performance. The quartet for the original recording of one was made up of McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones next to Coltrane himself, but this recording was boosted by Pharoah Sanders on tenor sax, Carlos Ward on alto saxophone and Donald Rafael Garrett on the second bass. It's a suite packed with spirit, power and soul. It is one of only two recorded live performances of Coltrane's 1965 album A Love Supreme, the other being a July 1965 recording from the Jazz à Juan jazz festival in Juan-les-Pins, Antibes, France, which was released in 2002 as part of the deluxe edition of A Love Supreme.
03. Timo Lassy & Teppo Mäkynen Live Recordings 2019-2020 [WeJazz]
The dynamic duo of tenor saxophonist Timo Lassy and drummer Teppo Mäkynen return with a double LP of live recordings captured in 2019 and 2020. The We Jazz Records release Live Recordings 2019-2020 follows the duo's 2019 LP which was shortlisted for "Jazz Album Of the Year" at Gilles Peterson's Worldwide Awards. While the studio album versions were studies in improvisational brevity, the live album lets the long-time collaborators really let loose and build memorable sonic narratives around the compositions. The album is produced and edited by Teppo Mäkynen, also known as a sought-after producer with the knack for looking at the big picture. Their duo shows have quickly become celebrated examples of what a long history of playing together can enable on stage when paired with the right mindset and a shared musical goal. This live album follows the ethos of both documenting what's happening and expanding on what was captured in the studio earlier.
In October 2018, Robert Glasper settled into the Blue Note club in NYC for a month-long residency several nights of which featured the new dream team collective R+R=NOW with Glasper on keys, Terrace Martin on synthesizer and vocoder, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah on trumpet, Derrick Hodge on bass, Taylor McFerrin on synth and beatbox, and newcomer Justin Tyson on drums. The band had recently released their debut album Collagically Speaking and the music had already taken on expansive new dimensions in concert as evidenced on R+R=NOW Live, a thrilling live recording with standout tracks including Respond, Change of Tone, Resting Warrior, and a cover of Kendrick Lamar’s How Much a Dollar Cost.
05. Jaimie Branch’s Fly or Die Live [International Anthem]
Jaimie Branch’s Fly or Die Live, the new album recorded by the trumpeter’s quartet at in Zurich, Switzerland on January 23rd, 2020, which feels like it bears the weight of both that specific pocket of time, and a prophecy for all that was soon to come. branch and her Fly or Die crew — cellist Lester St. Louis, bassist Jason Ajemian, and drummer Chad Taylor — had just kicked off the concert at Moods, with the opening tracks off their then-new studio albumFly or Die II: Bird Dogs of Paradise, the second of which, Prayer for Amerikkka is among the best political songs written during the Trump Era, and when the moment in question pops off. A week into a European tour and after three months of constant live performance, Fly or Die is at home in the music’s contours, messing with its internal machinery while guiding its meaning.
06. Resilient Vessels Live At The Cell [RRGEMS Records]
New York city based bassist and visual artist Josh Werner was awarded an artist in residence from The Cell Gallery located in New York NY. As a part of this residency which occurred in the month of July 2020, Josh presented various works in different mediums from visual art to music. In lue of the 2020 pandemic Josh was unable to present music to a live audience and instead offered a pre-recorded live performance to be aired at a later date. Werner was able to put together an ensemble of some of the leading improvisors on the New York City scene in that of James Brandon Lewis, Ches Smith and Patrick Holmes. One of the leading jazz pioneers Ornette Coleman once expressed himself by saying you know more, but I feel more. During these turbulent times this statement resonates with this ensemble; it's one that embodies the acknowledgment of feelings within your being to then pour into the music being presented. This ensemble draws from proceeding generations of musicians such as Don Cherry, Roy Ayers, John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, Albert Ayler, Tribe Called Quest and the energy of the downtown art rock movement.
The Tower is a new film and live album by the Norwegian eight-piece band Jaga Jazzist. Comprising of live recordings of the four compositions that make up their ninth studio album Pyramid, the band linked with director Sigurd Ytre-Arne to film an incredible live set at the top of Økern Kulturtårn in Oslo, capturing the transition from day to night as the sun set over Norway’s capital city. This was a beautiful night in August 2020 after five months in lockdown. It was the first day we met up and played the album together since recording it a year earlier, explains Lars Horntveth. The idea was to capture the sunset over our beautiful city while playing the new album from start to finish. Filmed, edited and directed by the supertalented Sigurd Ytre-Arne. We´re stoked that we captured this on film and looking forward to finally show it to everybody. Enjoy!
In 2009, Brian Cross organized a series of live events at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex in Los Angeles. The Timeless series captured the lasting impact of several artists on the world of hip-hop and beyond. Live, fully orchestrated performances by Ethiopia’s Mulatu Astatke and Brazil's Arthur Verocai bookended the incredible Suite For Ma Dukes, a tribute to James "Dilla" Yancey, by Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. Mochilla Presents Timeless: Mulatu Astatke captures what the sold-out crowd at the Luckman witnessed: the famed Ethiopian artist performing with veterans of the Los Angeles jazz community including Bennie Maupin, Azar Lawrence, Phil Ranelin and more. Having just witnessed the performance Cut Chemist remarked Musically, he has been my biggest inspiration with producer Quantic noting One of the musical visionaries of our age…We are still trying to catch up.
09. Roy Hargrove & Mulgrew Miller In Harmony [Resonance Records]
In Harmony is the first previously unissued recording of the late trumpet star Roy Hargrove since his passing in 2018. Captured live on January 15, 2006 at Merkin Hall at the Kaufman Music Center in New York City and November 9, 2007 at the Williams Center for the Arts at Lafayette College in Easton, PA, with piano great Mulgrew Miller, In Harmony is an intimate snapshot of two masters performing without a net at the top of their games.
10. The Fearless Flyers Flyers Live at Madison Square Garden [Vulf Records]
The Fearless Flyers put vinyl featuring their set opening for Vulfpeck at Madison Square Garden in New York City on September 28, 2019. The quartet consists of Vulfpeck bassist Joe Dart and guitarist Cory Wong as well as guitarist Mark Lettieri and drummer Nate Smith. Vulfpeck previously issued their headlining performance from the night under the same moniker, Live At Madison Square Garden. The Fearless Flyers mixed originals, takes on Vulfpeck gems Lost My Treble Long Ago and The Speedwalker and a cover of Stevie Wonder’s Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours) at the iconic NYC venue. Each of the originals played come from the group’s self-titled 2018 EP and 2019’s The Fearless Flyers II EP. Saxophonist Eddie Barbash sat-in on Hero Town from the latter.