🎼 #GuelphMusicClub: Best of 2016


Yep, it’s true. Phoenix from the ashes and all that good stuff…depending on your opinion of this blog, I suppose. Either way, I’M BACK.

But, yeah, I’m dreadfully late this year with my best of 2016 recap but I don’t feel too bad about it this go around. In fact, does it bother anyone else that most major music publications and review sites/blogs tend to have their year-end lists published near the top of December? That means that albums released at the very end of the calendar year aren’t even available to be considered if their roundtable discussions are taking place throughout October/November. And I always thought it was dumb to see year-end lists incorporating items from the year previous – DUMB.

Guess that’s just the reality of the world these days. There is a heavier emphasis placed upon being FIRST than there is to produce thoughtful and considered reviews. I mean, I know I’m just talking about critical opinions here (which have always been worthless, mine included) but the age we live in has allowed for poseurs like Anthony Fantano to proliferate and position themselves as musical authorities – LOL! My apologies to his corny azz followers… 🙄

In regards to my own recap, this year, I chose to go with the same format employed as last year, only this time, I thought I’d throw a few extra categories into the mix.

Nowadays, the #GuelphMusicClub seems to have transformed into more of an annual tweet-up at best but I would encourage you to click the link above to peruse some of the other contributions if you’ve yet to do so. Those of you who have kept up with THE CLUB over the years are surely aware of the diverse and eclectic array of tastes weaving throughout its contingency. Definitely worth the perusal! I have no doubt you’ll be introduced to a ton of great stuff!

2016 was also a tough year for the #GuelphMusicClub in the sense that it marked the end of Sound in My Memory. If I’m not mistaken, Rob was one of the originators of THE CLUB (alongside Aaron Dale? 🤔) and his candor will certainly be missed.

In fact, a lot of the blogs have fallen off, mine included. This year, several individuals from THE CLUB decided to primarily share their best-of picks through Twitter. With that being the case, I sincerely hope I’m able to retain your attention throughout this post…

.. ’cause it’s been a minute since I’ve been here and I’m about to go OFF! (no Skintastic)



FYI: Everything “ranked” alphabetically

Go to the next page for the TOP ALBUMS of 2016



In the end, it took a local hashtag for me to kickstart this blog.

These tweeps I know in the third-dimension (and some I do not) began to chatter about a loose coalition of Guelphites wanting to geek out over their favourite records. I was all, “wtf y not”, and decided I would like to contribute, ok?

The first installment of the #GMC is a five-part week-by-week series. Apparently, I was sleeping while this beast was being created. Shout out that dude Aaron tho @ MusicLives for graciously putting me on despite missing the first deadline.

So, the initial challenge is to list your top five albums that emerged between the period of 1963-1973.

No prob bro!

* note – these albums are not ranked or listed in any order of preference.. I will simply be contributing releases which I feel were landmark records from this decade

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Stan Getz & João Gilberto (feat. Antonio Carlos Jobim) – Getz/Gilberto  (1964)

It is one of the most beautiful albums ever made.

Also, the quintessential bossa nova record.

Getz had already been touched by the genre upon returning to the United States from a European trek in the early 60s. He collaborated with Charlie Byrd and Luiz Bonfá on the Jazz Samba series which primed American audiences for a bossa nova craze that would peak and ultimately be defined by the release of Getz/Gilberto.

The record is important for many reasons:

  • Getz invited Gilberto and Jobim, the inventors of the style, from Brazil to NYC. These sessions resulted in the first truly authentic American bossa nova recordings and what remains as one of the best selling jazz albums to this day
  • It turned Gilberto’s then-wife, Astrud – who had previously only sang within the confines of her own home – from a virtual unknown into a bona fide superstar (it also introduced Astrud to Getz, the two of whom began a relationship subsequent to her divorce from João)
  • The first ever jazz album to receive the Album of the Year Grammy Award
  • One of the earliest recordings helmed by the late, great, and recently deceased, Phil Ramone – which also netted him his first of many Grammy’s (Best Engineered Recording [non-classical], 1965)
  • Legendary artwork by abstract-expressionist, Olga Albizu – arguably her most famous piece

Soothing vocals and gorgeous harmonies, this is one of those records everyone needs to hear before they die. The smooth-as-butter sax of Getz adds just the right amount of spice to the sparse guitar of Gilberto. Getz/Gilberto is a legendary piece of work appropriate for almost any occasion.

One of my absolute favourites.

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As a side, since I missed out on week one and was forced to condense this list to four, I am going to double down on @Bookshelfnews and give a shout to Mr. Marvin Pentz Gaye, Jr. and his masterpiece, What’s Going On. No need to go too in depth as it has already been covered.. but, in my opinion, this is one of the most delicate, powerful, and enduring records of all time. His words and sentiments remain as pertinent today as ever.

Gordy wanted Marvin to drive Miss Daisy. Mr. Gaye wasn’t with it.

I dare you watch this without smiling.

R.I.P., Prince of Soul.