Looking back over this past year, I really believe 2010 has been the most incredible year in music I've ever experienced. It's certainly been the best year I've seen since I started The Guitar Channel in 2004. On one hand, I've never witnessed as much amazing live music as I have this year. There were the great Winter NAMM gigs (such as OHM w/ Mike Kenneally, Alex Machacek w/ Ric Fierabracci, the Bombastic Meatbats, and more), awesome Chicago gigs by Mike Stern, Allan Holdsworth, and others, and of course the festivals - starting with the incredible Baked Potato 40th Anniversary Jazz Festival in May, the legend-packed Crossroads Guitar Festival in June, and the capper: the amazing New Universe Music Festival last month.
Then of course, there were the great albums of 2010. And there were a lot of them. Here are my favorite albums that were released this year, in no particular order.
A remarkable disc featuring music Machacek composed over a 52-minute Minnemann drum solo.
Awesome blues rock super group that brings together guitar legends Landau and Ford. Killer playing; amazing guitar tones.
This one came out of nowhere and really grabbed me. Great collection of fusion tunes with a killer guest list that includes Alex Machacek, Jeff Kollman, Greg Koch, Nat Janoff, and many others.
Fantastic old-school jazz rock album from the legendary drummer. Includes guests Jimmy Herring and David Gilmore.
Tasty, melodic instrumental rock disc with killer playing and writing. Includes guests Brett Garsed and Rob Caggiano.
Awesome throwback fusion with great grooves. Features Jeff Kollman on guitar.
This may seem like an out-of-left-field choice, but I can't get enough of this album. Features Hunter playing solo versions of old public domain classics chosen by his grandfather.
Other favorites from 2010:
Kirk Fletcher - My Turn
John McLaughlin - To The One (Review)
John Czajkowski and Marco Minnemann - West ZooOpolis
Steve Lukather - All's Well That Ends Well
Tetsuo Sakurai - Vital World (Review)
Ranjit Barot - Bada Boom
Michael Dolce - Everything Til Now
Jeff Richman - Like That (Interview)