Sheldon Kreger's Favorite Projects Part 1- Introduction
Coming up with a favorite list of music is always a tricky thing. It's tough to narrow down to only a handful of favorite albums, because there are so many great musicians today.The goal of this list is to share the music I listen to with the readers, and to raise awareness of the many great musicians I know about. That being said, I'm going to come back and update this series periodically, so don't hesitate to check back from time to time.
I decided to use the term "project" rather than album so that I can list bands, but also list albums with mixed session players. More often than not, I find new music that I love by following an individual I'm interested in, and viewing their discography. Top session players - many of whom I follow closely - play with many different people on many different projects.
Two Categories of Interest
When I listen, I mentally classify music into two different categories. This is why I can enjoy complex jazz fusion, but also top 40 pop tunes.
The first type of music I really appreciate is progressive music. By this, I mean music which is exploring new spaces of expression - often by supplying an avenue for technical performance from increasingly skilled musicians; but also occasionally by using a concept, imposing boundaries, or striving for simplification. More on that later.
The second type of music is music I consider to be generic, but very well done. There are many different genres and sub-genres of music today which I enjoy tremendously. At one point in time, musicians were pioneering these styles - really reaching ahead and defining them for what they are. But, once a style is established, there is always much space for others to explore. As time passes, musical styles increase in depth and substance, as musicians work with them on deeper and deeper levels. So, I really enjoy 'generic' music which captures the spirit of the genre in a way that is convincing.
A Note About Production
Although I am not a sound engineer, I really enjoy well produced music. In fact, the 'sound' of a recording is just as exciting to me as the song itself. Producers and sound engineers are often overlooked by non-musicians, but they really have the ability to make-or-break a recording. You may notice that most of the music I listen to is newer. This is largely because I just love listening to clear, balanced, and beautiful recordings.
Coming Up Next
I'll be posting new articles in this series over the next few weeks.