The critics' ballots, Albums of the Year
Tom Surowicz
Star Tribune


Dave Graf, "Just Like That"
Carole Martin, "Songs From My Heart"
Various Artists, "Minnesota All Stars, Great Accordion and Concertina Performances from the Northstar State"
Phil Hey Quartet, "Subduction"
Irv Williams, "Dedicated to You"
Auto Body Experience, "Forgotten Lots"
Gordon Johnson, "Trios, Version 3.0"
Bobby E. Ekstrand, "The Guitar"
Fat Kid Wednesdays, "The Art of Cherry"
Triplicate, "Day & Age"

Tough choices this year! There's enough to fill up a very worthy Top 20, with winning discs that just missed the cut by Electropolis ("Electropolis"), Charmin Michelle & Joel Shapira ("Pure Imagination"), Dorothy Doring ("Southern Exposure," a revelation!), Debbie Duncan ("I Thought About You") and certainly Dave Karr & Mulligan Stew ("Cookin' At The Hot Summer Jazz Festival"). I didn't feel so bad about leaving off Mulligan Stew's disc because it was an "instant" live recording, never really intended as an album at the time, though the eventual packaging and liner notes were terrific. Besides Mulligan Stew, I also chowed down happily on the Spaghetti Western String Co.'s "Quiet Mob" EP, which is delicious but got bounced since it's a mere five songs. Old faves Happy Apple will likely get plenty of votes from other folks, and their "The Peace Between Our Companies" CD is quite deserving, as well.


Auto Body Experience, "Six Friends"
Happy Apple, "Ella By Nightlight"
Spaghetti Western String Co., "Draisienne"
Dave Graf, "Going Away"
Triplicate, "Hit On Twelve"

Dec. 29, 2005