Tiger!," Hardworlder (Cruz del Sur)
(10) <0x0007>Tesla, "Ball of Confusion," Real to Reel (Tesla Electric Co.)
MARCUS CROWDER'S TOP 10-PLUS
•<\!s><0x0007>Aretha Franklin, Aretha Live at Fillmore West (deluxe edition) (Rhino). So electric you'll get goose bumps.
•<\!s><0x0007>Jason Lindner Big Band, Live at the Jazz Gallery (Anzic)
•<\!s><0x0007>Charles Mingus Sextet with Eric Dolphy, Cornell 1964 (Blue Note)
•<\!s><0x0007>Sam Yahel Trio, Truth and Beauty (Origin). Talented friends get into the groove of a young man and his keyboard.
•<\!s><0x0007>Joshua Redman Trio, Back East (Nonesuch)
•<\!s><0x0007>Joe Henry, Civilians (Anti-). Fiercely literate adult rock without acronyms.
•<\!s><0x0007>Wayne Shorter Quartet at the Mondavi Center, UC Davis, Feb. 2.
•<\!s><0x0007>Jason Moran with T.S. Monk and ensemble, the Monk Town Hall Concert, Herbst Theatre, May 19. A large band swings very, very hard.
•<\!s><0x0007>SFJAZZ Collective, Live 2007: Fourth Annual Concert Tour (SFJAZZ). Smart arrangements with the necessary new blood of underrated pianist Renee Rosnes.
•<\!s><0x0007>Kiki and Herb, American Conservatory Theater, July 13. We need their holiday show.
•<\!s><0x0007>The Sea and Cake, "Up on Crutches," Everybody (Thrill Jockey). The song I couldn't stop playing.
AMANDA MARIA MORRISON
•<\!s><0x0007>MIA, Kala (Interscope)
•<\!s><0x0007>Feist, The Reminder (Cherry Tree/Interscope)
•<\!s><0x0007>Calle 13, Residente o Visitante (Sony)
•<\!s><0x0007>Chamillionaire, Ultimate Victory (Motown)
•<\!s><0x0007>Kanye West, Graduation (Roc-A-Fella)
•<\!s><0x0007>Apostle of Hustle, National Anthem of Nowhere (Arts and Crafts)
•<\!s><0x0007>Jose Gonzalez, "In Our Nature" (Mute)
•<\!s><0x0007>El-P, I'll Sleep When You're Dead (Definitive Jux)
•<\!s><0x0007>The Federation, "It's Whateva" (Southwest Federation/Reprise)
•<\!s><0x0007>Chingo Bling, They Can't Deport Us All (Asylum)
(1) <0x0007>Aaron Ross, Shapeshifter (Grass Roots Record Co.). The Hella member's solo LP is ragged singer-songwriter stuff that seems to do everything wrong. It's strident, too long, and too loud; it's chirpy and pained; it must have broken a guitar's worth of strings. And then, somewhere around the point it stops being ugly, it becomes transcendent an album with more heart than any I've heard in a while.
(2) <0x0007>The Arcade Fire, Neon Bible (Merge). How quickly you realize the stunning last song, "My Body Is a Cage," will be a testament to the trust the Montreal group has built, understood, and not yet defaulted on. Few groups have a better sense of what they are and mean, and the Arcade Fire know what they do right: write hymns.
(3) <0x0007>MIA, Kala (Interscope). On her second album, Maya Arulpragasam turned a government-forced world tour into an excuse to make her music even better traveled.
(4) <0x0007>Ferraby Lionheart, Ferraby Lionheart EP (Nettwerk). Lush, antique, richly sung pop that plays like an argument for Jon Brion. Wes Anderson will one day base an entire script on a Lionheart disc.
(5) <0x0007>Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Raising Sand (Rounder). The best moments on this gorgeous, out-of-nowhere release are when you've been listening to sweetheart old-time country pop, then realize you are listening to Robert Plant.