What a Year…

With the ball drop in Times Square about to usher in the new year, I took a look back at 2011.

Even though Vocalstandards.com went live in August of this year, it began in earnest several months earlier with a lot of soul searching, website design and research … and fifty-two posts later, what a blast!

 Whole ‘lot of music…

Between album reviews, radio station reviews and live performance recaps, we covered a lot of ground in 2011.

Catching great performances like Nikki Yanofsky, Steve Tyrell, John Pizzarelli, Michael Feinstein, Steve Tyrell again(!) and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy were major highlights for the year to be sure.

But if I had to pick one…

I love the pressure of the “if I had to pick one” question. It forces you through such strenuous and impossible decision contortions … excruciating fun! That said, I can’t do it when it comes to the Rat Pack … I simply can’t force myself to distill  “the one best” from Sam, Dean and Frank. Thank goodness the decision for “best of 2011” wasn’t that arduous.

For 2011 my clear favorite was…

Sinatra-Basie, The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings. It was a close thing … all of the live performances were wonderful but listening for days (in prep for a review) to this beautifully remastered compilation of the two Sinatra-Basie studio albums (they also did some great live recordings) was a revelation for me. Frank’s intonation and lyrical style in full measure with Count Basie’s amazing band — remastered perfectly — nudged this album into my top spot for 2011.

2012 awaits!

We’re jumping out quick with a Bobbly Caldwell gig at One World in January, and I have great plans for vocalstandards.com for the coming year. Come by often and tell me what you think … or what you’d like to see.

Happy New Year everyone … and don’t forget your black-eyed-peas tomorrow!