The eldest of the quintet of guitarists who ushered in the golden age of modern jazz guitar (with Frisell, Metheny, Stern, and Scofield), John Abercrombie has maintained the lowest profile of the group, while continuing to carve out a successful career and continually exploring new music. The Jim Hall-like delicacy of his touch, his relentless swing, and ability to play lyrically without ever descending into cliché or prettiness has been a constant source of inspiration.
People love lists; at least the majority of publications seem to think so. They stir up controversy, which attracts attention. Thus I feel almost obligated to offer a year’s best list, for this, our first year of publication.
Keep in mind that the top twelve, listed in no particular order, merely represents the recordings, released this year (ish), that I found myself returning to over the course of time. In the spirit of Guitar Moderne, I list them primarily to incite readers to check them out. They by no means are meant to be an “objective” list of the “best” recordings of the year, but only the ones that I heard and personally responded to—my best, if you will. They very much reflect my own taste and your list will undoubtedly vary. By all means chime in and let me know what you think I missed.