First I need to get something out of the way.
In a review I wrote earlier this year, I mentioned that the album I’d reviewed had attained a special status — it had become a VCD. I then went on to explain that the sobriquet stands for Visor CD — albums that I like so much that I put the CD into the special holder on my car’s visor, ready for frequent use. I also stated at that time that there is no higher honor than being chosen as a VCD.
As if often the case when I make a pompous statement, I was wrong. I had forgotten about the GMC Album Of The Year, that eagerly-awaited and coveted award…OK, I made up that last part, but it is time for me to announce my decision.
As I went over the 80+ albums I reviewed in 2008, I found myself returning again and again to two standouts. (And by the way, both reached VCD status although that might not have been mentioned in their original reviews.) The two were very different – one Latin jazz and the other Bluegrass – but both were memorable and filled with great music. After agonizing over the choice for at least 3 or 4 seconds, I realized that there was a simple solution to my indecision. I should declare the contest a tie — and since I’m making the rules here, so be it.
In a March review, I found myself charmed by Tequila Moon, a stunning debut album from the multi-talented Jessy J. I’m always a sucker for Latin jazz anyway, but the sound of a supremely skilled jazz artist joyfully celebrating her Latin heritage with this much passion is irresistible.
Jessy J – Fiesta Valada
My other choice is from a May review and features one of the most-respected artists in country music, Dan Tyminski. In addition to providing the voice behind George Clooney’s ‘singing’ in the movie O Brother Where Art Thou, he’s had a long and successful career that includes service in the Lonesome River Band and in Alison Krauss’ Union Station. His bluegrass album, Wheels, is his second as leader and soloist, and it’s a dandy.
Dan Tyminski – I Ain’t Taking You Back No More
Two outstanding musical collections and my co-choices for GMC Album Of The Year. Comments are welcome but I gotta warn you — you won’t change my mind.